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Market Worried About New Covid or Inflation Variant?

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Eustance Huang and Jesse Pound of CNBC report the Dow tumbles 900 points for worst day of year on fears of new Covid variant, S&P 500 drops 2%: U.S. stocks dropped sharply on Friday as a new Covid variant found in South Africa triggered a global shift away from risk assets. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 905.04 points, or 2.53%, for its worst day of the year, closing at 34,899.34. The S&P 500 lost 2.27% to close at 4,594.62, while the Nasdaq Composite slipped 2.23% to finish at 15,491.66. The Dow was down more than 1,000 points at session lows. The downward moves came after WHO officials on Thursday warned of a new Covid-19 variant that’s been detected in South Africa . The new variant contains more mutations to the spike protein, the component of the virus that binds to cells, than the highly contagious delta variant. Because of these mutations, scientists fear it could have increased resistance to vaccines, though WHO said further investigation is needed.

OPTrust Surpasses the 100,000-Member Milestone

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Yesterday, OPTrust announced it has surpassed the 100,000-member milestone: OPTrust, one of Canada’s largest defined benefit pension plans, has welcomed the 100,000th member to the Plan. Since inception, OPTrust’s membership has increased by more than 40 per cent from just under 70,000 in 1995. Today, OPTrust delivers retirement security to retirees in over 300 communities across Ontario and remits more than $1 billion in annual pension payments. OPTrust has a strong belief in the value of the defined benefit pension model and delivering a secure retirement to our more than 100,000 members is both a privilege and a great responsibility,” said Peter Lindley, President and CEO of OPTrust. “Our members know they can count on exceptional service and secure, predictable retirement income, and as our membership continues to grow, we remain relentlessly focused on that mission." Recent growth in membership can in part be attributed to the growth of OPTrust Select, O

OMERS Commits to Net Zero by 2050

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Today, OMERS announced a commitment to its Net Zero 2050 emissions goal, building on its Sustainable Investing program: OMERS continues to advance its Sustainable Investing efforts by announcing today its commitment to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions across its total portfolio by 2050. Climate change is one of the most pressing issues of our time. As a responsible asset owner and manager, OMERS has a program in place to sustainably grow its assets over the long term. Blake Hutcheson, Chief Executive Officer and President, OMERS commented: “Our near-term carbon reduction goals are tangible, actionable, and ensure our leadership team is accountable today. With our Net Zero 2050 goal, we believe we are charting the right course for our future. We are also confident that we can do this by working with governments and other conscientious Canadian and global businesses in the months and years ahead.” As at June 30, 2021, OMERS had $114 billion in net assets globall

CPP Investments and OMERS Buy Minority Stake in Odyssey Group

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CPP Investments put out a press release stating that Fairfax announces US$1.0 Billion substantial issuer bid and sale of 9.99% minority stake in Odyssey Group: Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited (“Fairfax” or the “Company”) (TSX: FFH and FFH.U) announces its intention to commence a substantial issuer bid (the “Offer”), pursuant to which the Company will offer to repurchase for cancellation up to US$1.0 billion of its subordinate voting shares (the “Shares”) from shareholders for cash. Fairfax also announces that it has entered into an agreement with an affiliate of CPPIB Credit Investments Inc. (“CPPIB Credit Investments”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, and OMERS, the defined benefit pension plan for Ontario’s municipal sector employees pursuant to which each of CPPIB Credit Investments and OMERS will acquire 100% of a new series of securities representing a 4.995% interest in Odyssey Group Holdings, Inc. (“Odyssey Group”), Fairfax’s U.

Americans’ Views of State-Facilitated Retirement Programs

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The National Institute on Retirement Security put out a press release stating new research finds strong support for state-facilitated retirement programs for workers lacking workplace plans:  A national survey finds strong support for new state-facilitated retirement programs aimed at helping workers without employer-provided plans save for retirement. The vast majority of Americans (72 percent) agree that state-facilitated retirement savings programs are a good idea, with high support across party and generational lines. Three-quarters of Americans say they would participate in these retirement programs if offered in their state, and most express favorable views of features like portability and low fees. These findings are contained in a new issue brief from the National Institute on Retirement Security ( NIRS ),  Americans' Views of State-Facilitated Retirement Programs . Download the research here .  "It's encouraging that many states are taking action to help