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Copyright_Kwanchai Lerttanapunyaporn_123RF

Canada’s defined benefit pension plans’ funded positions continue to improve in 2021, ending the first quarter at their highest levels in more than 20 years, according to Mercer Canada’s pension health index. It found solvency ratios increased from 114 per cent at the end of 2020 to 124 per cent at the end of March 2021, with the median solvency ratio […]

  • By: Staff
  • April 6, 2021 April 6, 2021
  • 09:00

United States 10-year bond yields have risen substantially from their lows of 0.50 per cent last summer, hitting 1.6 per cent by late February. Canadian 10-year yields have taken a similar trajectory to reach a range of 1.5 per cent in March, which is up from 0.43 per cent in August. At the short end […]

Copyright_Andrii Dragan_123RF

The funding status and confidence of Canadian defined benefit pension plans declined in 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic and a low interest-rate environment, according to a new survey from RBC Investor & Treasury Services. It found among 122 respondents, 50 per cent reported their plans were fully funded on a going-concern basis, down significantly from […]

  • By: Staff
  • March 5, 2021 March 5, 2021
  • 09:00
What can we expect from fixed-income returns in 2021?

This time last year, the FTSE Canadian universe bond index was yielding a paltry 2.3 per cent and few, if any, anticipated how strong fixed-income returns would be in 2020. Over the year, the index returned 8.7 per cent due to a significant drop in interest rates in the first half as the Bank of […]

Pension funds playing defence amid coronavirus crisis

Despite several bumps in the decade since the 2008/09 financial crisis, the swift and brutal crash in global equity prices when the coronavirus was declared a pandemic sent pension investors reaching for their playbooks to implement defensive strategies to mitigate the damage. “People have worked very hard at just acting on the set strategies that […]

How institutional investors can determine material ESG factors

Environmental, social and governance factors are an important dimension of fundamental analysis, said Jenn-Hui Tan, global head of stewardship and sustainable investing at Fidelity International, when speaking at the Canadian Investment Review’s Investment Innovation Conference in November. Traditional fundamental analysis captures topics including financial performance, the pricing power of a company, its competitive advantages, the […]

The case for eventual inflation

While inflation never materialized after the last financial crisis and the subsequent economic expansion, this time will be different, said Erik Weisman, portfolio manager and chief economist at MFS Investment Management, when speaking at the Canadian Investment Review’s Investment Innovation Conference in November. After the global financial crisis, quantitative easing didn’t generate inflation because the […]

Nav Canada, Goodyear Canada share experiences with LDI in low interest rate world

Despite the low interest rate environment, it still makes sense for defined benefit pension plan sponsors to adopt a liability-driven investment strategy, said Serge Lapierre, global head of LDI at Manulife Investment Management, during a webinar sponsored by the firm on Monday. LDI investing is a risk management framework, he noted. “It’s not an asset […]

Bank of Canada holds rate steady, says coronavirus economic recovery likely by 2022

The Bank of Canada kept its key interest rate on hold Wednesday as it said the country’s economy won’t recoup the losses from the coronavirus until 2022, with the road to recovery dependent on the path of the pandemic. In July, the Bank of Canada said it believed the country had been spared from a […]

What role can insurance-linked securities play in pension portfolios?

In a market rocked by a considerable increase in cross-asset volatility, the need to search for alternative means of diversification that embrace different sources of risk and return is crucial. One solution for pension plan sponsors to consider is investing in insurance-linked securities. Often a misunderstood and underutilized asset class, insurance-linked securities are investments whose […]