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The last decade of persistently low interest rates, exacerbated by the coronavirus crisis, has created challenges for institutional investors looking to generate income on their bond investments. The challenge has been more acute for pension funds and foundations, who rely on bond investments to fund their ongoing benefit and program obligations. Moreover, indications from global […]

How defensive strategies played out for CN Rail pension, ATRF as markets crashed

When the coronavirus pushed equity markets off a cliff, Canadian defined benefit pension plans had to mobilize to address a number of concerns. The Canadian National Railway Co. pension recently shifted towards a more defensive investment strategy, said Marlene Puffer, president and chief executive officer for the CN investment division of the company, at a webinar […]


With the coronavirus-induced shutdown causing ripples in public and private markets alike, infrastructure assets took a hit in the first quarter of 2020 — and the worst may still be coming. According to data from the EDHEC Infrastructure Institute, infrastructure assets experienced a sharp drop in returns in the quarter. The decline was driven by […]

Last week marked the beginning of an unprecedented one-year program through which the Bank of Canada is purchasing corporate bonds. The program, originally announced on April 15, aims to support the corporate debt market’s liquidity and “proper functioning.” It involves TD Asset Management purchasing bonds through a tender process on the secondary market on behalf […]

In legal circles, it has always been thought that crises breed litigation. And while that appears to be the case in the current crisis, it may not have been the case in the global financial crisis of 2008/9, as pointed out in a recent article by Eric Blinderman, the chief executive officer for the U.S. […]

With air traffic expected to drop by almost 50 per cent in 2020, institutional investors that use aircraft leasing as part of their investment strategies will see compelling investment opportunities, says Justin Bradburn, principal and head of aviation at CarVal Investors. Even when traffic rebounds, airline ticket prices will likely be lower for longer, he […]


In times of crisis, many pension plan sponsors pull back on investing in private equity, including the secondary market, because they’re trying to assess their liquidity needs, says Joseph Marks, global head of secondaries at Capital Dynamics. But this pulling back often happens at a time when they should be putting their foot on the […]


Financial markets are showing signs of concern about how well companies can weather the coronavirus economic crisis, the Bank of Canada said in a report outlining issues the pandemic is having on business and household debt. The central bank has spent the last two months making a flurry of policy decisions that include slashing the […]


During the global financial crisis, certain real estate funds were suspended because of liquidity constraints, but during the coronavirus downturn, it’s valuation uncertainty that’s causing suspensions, says Steve Marino, senior vice-president of portfolio management at Great-West Life Realty Advisors Inc, a subsidiary of the Canada Life Assurance Co. On March 20, 2020, Canada Life announced […]


Since the last financial crisis in 2008-09, the shadow banking sector in Canada has been growing at a rapid pace, which can pose challenges in the current coronavirus crisis, according to a report by DBRS Morningstar. Shadow banking refers to non-bank financial institutions that provide credit and related financial intermediation that aren’t prudentially regulated. A […]