Canadian Investment Review Experts

Colin Ripsman

Colin Ripsman is president of Elegant Investment Solutions Inc.

Last year was a tumultuous one, with economies ravaged by successive waves of coronavirus pandemic-related stresses and closures. Despite the negative impact these forces had on the economy, the stock market continued to rebound from the March 2020 correction and performed well. And in the face of higher volatility, U.S. stock exchanges were the highest […]

  • January 4, 2022 January 4, 2022
  • 09:00

Last year offered up one of most tempestuous investment environments in recent memory, and this year looks to be equally dynamic. It will be increasingly important for pension investment committees to be proactive and flexible in the management and oversight of their portfolios. Those that can quickly assess and respond to fundamental economic shifts will […]

  • January 4, 2021 April 14, 2021
  • 09:23

We won’t soon forget 2020. This tumultuous year was characterized by a global pandemic, lockdowns around the world, spiking unemployment levels and business failures. Increasing political polarization in developed countries resulted in clashes between governments seeking to control COVID-19 and anti-mask factions, all amid a U.S. election, the results of which the sitting president continues […]

  • December 16, 2020 February 5, 2021
  • 09:33

\Over the course of the last 15 years we have seen an increase in the number of frozen corporate defined benefit plans in Canada. Frozen plans have limited the future benefit accruals in the plan, either through closing membership to new employees or, in some cases, freezing future service accruals to existing members. This fundamental […]

  • April 1, 2019 January 10, 2021
  • 08:32

Over the last few years we have seen numerous First Nations’ settlements with the government. The amounts of these settlements are typically large and can, if prudently invested, greatly enrich the quality of life for both current and future community members. With that in mind, let’s explore some of the key considerations in determining a […]

  • February 13, 2019 January 12, 2021
  • 13:14

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Thomas Agnew

Constructive dismissal and the corresponding duty to mitigate damages

In a recent case, the Ontario Superior Court found an employee failed to mitigate damages when he refused a return-to-work offer from his employer, with whom he…

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A summary of Ontario’s changing employment and labour legislation

Many of the changes that were introduced to Ontario’s Employment Standards Act in January 2018 were short-lived, as the province’s new government elected in June…

  • February 19, 2019 September 13, 2019
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Employer obligations around medical pot, benefits plans

With the legalization of recreational cannabis on Oct. 17, 2018, employers have been preparing to answer questions about whether their current benefits plans should provide…

  • December 4, 2018 September 13, 2019
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Court confirms employer’s right to change job conditions

In a recent decision, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice found an employer didn’t constructively dismiss a long-service employee when it provided her with 18 months…

  • May 15, 2018 September 13, 2019
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Louis Gagnon

Consider health benefits, workplace policies as legal cannabis approaches

On Oct. 17, 2018, it will be legal to purchase and consume recreational cannabis in Canada. In a recent survey of Mercer’s employer clients and Canadian employees, we found…

  • August 21, 2018 September 13, 2019
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Creating a thriving workplace with data, personalized employee benefits

Some organizations are unique. Their employees are genuinely excited to be at work and an undercurrent of energy and vitality permeates the air. They’ve transformed the…

  • May 29, 2018 September 13, 2019
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Time to get to work on measuring absenteeism due to mental health

While many Canadian organizations continue to search for solutions to rising health-care costs, most are falling short. That’s why they must investigate any opportunity to find…

  • February 6, 2018 September 13, 2019
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Four ideas to mitigate challenges of Canada’s retirement savings gap

Macroeconomic trends such as longer lives, a lack of access to pensions and retirement supports, a low-growth environment, and persistent lack of financial literacy and…

  • November 1, 2017 September 13, 2019
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Wendy Cukier

Expert panel: DEI shaping employers’ innovation, profitability, but more work to be done

Diversity in leadership matters. It signals who belongs and shapes the aspirations of employees, as well as communities more broadly. In recent years, the convergence…

  • July 21, 2022 July 20, 2022
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Expert panel: Less talk, more action needed to move needle on DEI at top

While talk about the importance of improving diversity on corporate boards and in the C-suite has been ongoing for decades, actual action has been too…

  • November 9, 2021 November 10, 2021
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Mary Picard

Expert panel: How ESG-focused TDFs could impact workplace CAPs

With the increased focus on integrating environmental, social and governance factors into pension plans, a new approach by BlackRock Inc. could have a significant impact on…

  • July 12, 2022 July 11, 2022
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Expert panel: Why employers should offer group TFSAs in 2022

At the start of every new year, many employees resolve to improve their fitness — emotionally, financially and/or physically. One pretty easy way that employers…

  • January 18, 2022 January 18, 2022
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Kim Siddall

Expert panel: How employers can support working parents this summer

Heading into the summer months, parents of young or school-aged children are likely juggling work with gaps in their childcare needs. While many working parents…

  • June 21, 2022 June 20, 2022
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Expert panel: Considerations for disability management in a hybrid work environment

As this wave of the coronavirus pandemic abates and more organizations settle into their respective futures of work, leadership teams are considering how the many…

  • March 1, 2022 March 1, 2022
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Expert panel: Designing a benefits plan for the new world of work in 2022 and beyond

As companies adapt their people strategies for return to the office or for a new remote or hybrid work arrangement, employee retention will be a…

  • December 30, 2021 December 16, 2021
  • 09:00

Expert panel: Six ways to incorporate green initiatives into benefits offerings

The Council of Parties to the United Nations’ climate convention, known as COP26, which is currently underway in Glasgow has put climate change on the…

  • November 2, 2021 November 4, 2021
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Laura McGrath

Expert panel: A checklist for a credible climate plan

Pension plan sponsors can’t ignore the financial risks of climate change or respond to them with half-baked approaches that allow companies to continue pumping out pollution.…

  • June 9, 2022 June 10, 2022
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Susan G. Seller

Expert panel: Is risk management the new frontier in pension governance?

The importance of risk management isn’t new for the majority of defined benefit pension plan sponsors and administrators. The impact of long-term interest rates, market…

  • June 7, 2022 June 6, 2022
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Expert panel: Climate change putting spotlight on ESG issues for pension plans

The images of floods, forest fires and heat waves over the past few years is putting climate change front of mind for many, including pension…

  • October 19, 2021 October 19, 2021
  • 09:00

The evolution of pension governance policies

Pension governance policies have been common for many years, at least since the Canadian Association of Pension Supervisory Authorities published its initial guidelines on pension…

  • March 23, 2021 March 30, 2021
  • 09:00

Navigating pension fiduciary duties during coronavirus pandemic

Employers that act as pension plan administrators have statutory fiduciary duties that are defined by the plan documents and by governing pension legislation. While those duties…

  • June 9, 2020 November 26, 2020
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Katharine Coons

Expert panel: The future of work is flexible, prioritizes employee mental health

Employees everywhere are redefining what work means to them and redrawing their expectations of employers. Mental-health supports and flexible working options are now imperative if…

  • May 31, 2022 May 30, 2022
  • 09:00

Expert panel: How employers can help employees struggling with burnout

Workplace burnout isn’t always easy to talk about, but after living through nearly two years of the coronavirus pandemic, employers really can’t avoid it —…

  • February 22, 2022 February 18, 2022
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Expert panel: Preparing a psychologically safe return-to-workplace plan

Any return to the workplace, whether it’s after a medical or parental leave  — or say, following a global pandemic — requires consideration and care…

  • October 12, 2021 October 7, 2021
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Sara Tatelman

Expert panel: How employers can design health benefits, retirement plans for gig workers

Whether they’re delivering takeout, chauffeuring passengers, or fixing leaky sinks, most gig workers in Canada don’t get benefits. Classified as independent contractors rather than employees,…

  • May 24, 2022 May 26, 2022
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Gavin Benjamin

Expert panel: Are private sector employers heading toward a pension renaissance?

Pension coverage in the public sector is high, with the vast majority of public sector employees covered by a defined benefit pension plan. However, the…

  • May 10, 2022 May 11, 2022
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Expert panel: DB, DC pension predictions for 2022

As a new year dawns, our attention turns to what’s ahead, the following are a few of my predictions for trends in the world of…

  • January 4, 2022 January 4, 2022
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Expert panel: How could inflation impact DB pension plans?

After being off of Canadians’ radar screens for years, the re-emergence of inflation in recent months is receiving significant attention for many, including pension plan…

  • October 26, 2021 October 25, 2021
  • 09:00

Could pandemic-related mortality rates impact DB pension plans?

Over the past several months, much attention has been paid to the coronavirus pandemic’s impact on financial markets and, subsequently, defined benefit pension plans’ financial conditions…

  • June 8, 2021 June 23, 2021
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Canadian Investment Review Experts

George Athanassakos

Do cryptocurrencies have a place for value-oriented investors?

What’s the value of Bitcoin? Or better, what makes it valuable? Is it because many people think it’s valuable? Is it valuable because it’s cool…

  • April 7, 2022 April 6, 2022
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Rising interest rates, value investing, war in Europe: key questions answered

It’s a chaotic time for institutional investors. Between rising inflation and interest rates, war in Europe and an ongoing global pandemic, stock market volatility is…

  • April 5, 2022 April 6, 2022
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Expert panel: A look at commodity price behaviour over the business cycles

With gas and oil prices reaching new heights last week, panicking both politicians and consumers, we must ask ourselves if this behaviour is typical of…

  • November 2, 2021 November 2, 2021
  • 12:35

What Bitcoin investors can learn from the rise and fall of gold, dot-com companies

I have been watching Bitcoin’s price advance with trepidation. In just six months its value has quintupled and it has risen more than tenfold since…

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Rayaz Khan

Expert panel: Publicity placing employees in false light could lead to legal issues

The possible legal ramifications of publicity placing a current or past employee in a false light is an issue employers should keep in mind in…

  • January 11, 2022 January 21, 2022
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The ins and outs of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy one year on

On the heels of the World Health Organization declaring the novel coronavirus a global pandemic on March 11, 2020, Canada’s federal government rolled out several…

  • March 30, 2021 April 6, 2021
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Uber case about arbitration clause, not classification of employees

In June, the Supreme Court of Canada released its decision in Uber Technologies Inc. v Heller, dismissing an appeal of a decision by the Ontario…

  • September 8, 2020 November 30, 2020
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A legal update on the government’s CEWS and CERB programs

The COVID-19 pandemic has created many complicated issues for employers. Prudent employers should ensure they’re aware of the resources that may be available during this…

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Canadian Investment Review Experts

Colin Ripsman

Expert panel: An investment roadmap for 2022

Last year was a tumultuous one, with economies ravaged by successive waves of coronavirus pandemic-related stresses and closures. Despite the negative impact these forces had…

  • January 4, 2022 January 4, 2022
  • 09:00

Institutional investing in 2021: looking towards the future

Last year offered up one of most tempestuous investment environments in recent memory, and this year looks to be equally dynamic. It will be increasingly…

  • January 4, 2021 April 14, 2021
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Institutional investing in 2020: a year in review

We won’t soon forget 2020. This tumultuous year was characterized by a global pandemic, lockdowns around the world, spiking unemployment levels and business failures. Increasing…

  • December 16, 2020 February 5, 2021
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Investment strategies for frozen DB plans

\Over the course of the last 15 years we have seen an increase in the number of frozen corporate defined benefit plans in Canada. Frozen…

  • April 1, 2019 January 10, 2021
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Benefits Canada Experts

Janet Rabovsky

Expert panel: Unclear road ahead for institutional investors in 2022

As has been the case for the past couple of years, we’re ending 2021 with as many questions as answers. On the surface, economic conditions…

  • December 27, 2021 December 14, 2021
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Institutional investors taking closer look at Bitcoin, gold amid inflation fears

Almost 16 months since the global coronavirus pandemic was first declared, there’s now yet another thing for institutional investors to worry about — the possibility…

  • June 29, 2021 July 8, 2021
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Is value investing still relevant in a volatile market?

Back in December 2018, I wrote an article asking whether it was a good time for pension plan sponsors to revisit value investing. At that time, public…

  • October 6, 2020 December 6, 2020
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What are the implications for pension funds coming out of coronavirus crisis?

Last August, I wrote about whether central banks were creating a financial bubble with their coordinated easing programs intended to spur economic growth and/or lift inflation.…

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Tom Milne

Expert panel: HR trends to keep an eye on in 2022

As 2021 winds down, I have a few predictions of the human resources trends for employers to keep top of mind in 2022. Employers finding…

  • December 23, 2021 December 9, 2021
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Expert panel: Use words, imagery for inclusive employee communications

Words and imagery have the power to connect, evoke emotion and elicit a reaction. They also have the power to be inclusive, or exclusive, and…

  • June 22, 2021 October 25, 2021
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How to communicate the value of a benefits plan to employees

It’s often said perception is reality and that’s definitely true when it comes to benefits plans. If employees can’t easily perceive the value in their…

  • March 9, 2021 March 22, 2021
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Connect to employees through the clutter with short, digital communications

How long is your attention span? Be honest and think back to the last time you received an email about your employee benefits and didn’t…

  • September 1, 2020 November 12, 2020
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Jaqui Parchment

Expert panel: How to get, keep top talent amid labour crunch

For months, Canadian employers have been creaking under the strain of a labour crunch. Finding top talent has always been one of leaders’ most pressing…

  • November 30, 2021 November 29, 2021
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Expert panel: Equal access to benefits, digital transformation among keys to return to work

COVID-19 cases are dropping and vaccine counts are rising. The economy is reopening and we can expect to be back at the office soon. But…

  • July 27, 2021 July 26, 2021
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How employers can rethink benefits, rewards amid the coronavirus crisis

Employee benefits and total rewards planning have always been a critical element of business planning, but never more so than during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.…

  • December 8, 2020 April 28, 2021
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How plan sponsors can make the new normal better than ever

Over the past few months, we’ve all had to deal with the challenges of social distancing and self-isolation. Some people have faced the extra pressure…

  • July 21, 2020 November 12, 2020
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Canadian Investment Review Experts

Brent Simmons

Expert panel: Inflation risk — to hedge or not to hedge?

With October inflation hitting an 18-year high, inflation risk is back on the radar of plan sponsors providing inflation-linked defined benefit pensions. In the past,…

  • November 25, 2021 November 26, 2021
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Looking under the hood of jumbo transactions

The recent announcement that General Motors of Canada Co. purchased $1.8 billion of annuities for its salaried pension plan is creating a lot of excitement.…

  • May 11, 2021 May 12, 2021
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Expert panel: How DB plan sponsors can get back into the driver’s seat

Much has been written about how 2020 was unprecedented, challenging and exhausting — take your pick of adjectives. It was also a white-knuckle ride for…

  • March 11, 2021 April 13, 2021
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Plan hibernation: a sleeping bear can still bite

Defined benefit pension plan sponsors who are interested in better pension risk management for their retirees have two main strategies to consider: They can either…

  • November 11, 2020 February 5, 2021
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Serafina Morgia

Expert panel: How to connect with employees in a remote world

In Canada, the coronavirus pandemic is entering a new phase — vaccines are widely available, travel restrictions are gradually lifting and people are returning to…

  • November 23, 2021 November 23, 2021
  • 09:00

Planning for the new post-pandemic normal

For most Canadians, it’s been well over a year since most of the country went into its first lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic. I…

  • May 18, 2021 June 1, 2021
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Canadian Investment Review Experts

Sam Goodman

Sounding board: Institutional investors making Canada’s approach to China unsustainable

With the repatriation of Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor following their three-year incarceration in China, relations between Ottawa and Beijing are to be reset.…

  • October 12, 2021 October 25, 2021
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ESG investing and human rights: “Ignorance is no longer an excuse”

It’s a welcome development that so many pension fund managers are increasingly preoccupied with the ethical implications of their investments and incorporating data to ensure…

  • July 6, 2021 July 21, 2021
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Kenneth MacDonald

Expert panel: Digital health solutions take a holistic approach to patient care

Various forms of digital health care have been available in Canada for several years, but I’d argue nothing has accelerated the awareness, need and adoption…

  • October 5, 2021 October 5, 2021
  • 09:00

Expert panel: Supporting employees’ mental health a marathon, not a sprint

Anyone who’s ever run a marathon or completed an endurance race or trek knows the last few miles are the hardest, both physically and mentally.…

  • July 6, 2021 July 23, 2021
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Expert panel: Think of health-care spending accounts as the duct tape of benefits plans

Any do-it-yourself handyman’s toolbox isn’t complete without a roll a flexible multi-purpose cloth adhesive that has unlimited uses — a.k.a. duct tape. It’s been used…

  • February 16, 2021 October 20, 2021
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Pandemic blurring work-life lines a recipe for employee burnout

Even before the coronavirus pandemic, technology was blurring the lines between work and home life. An unhealthy attachment to our mobile phones made it easy…

  • September 15, 2020 May 31, 2021
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