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CDPQ Gains 7.7% in 2020

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  Rob Kozlowski of Pensions & Investments reports CDPQ returns 7.7% in 2020: Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec, Montreal, returned a net 7.7% on its investments in 2020 and reported net assets of C$365.5 billion ($285.9 billion), said a news release Thursday. The return was 1.5 percentage points below its benchmark, which the pension fund attributed primarily to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on real estate returns, specifically on the retail and office building sectors, the news release said. For the five and 10 years ended Dec. 31, CDPQ returned an annualized net 7.8% and 8.6%, respectively. For the year ended Dec. 31, 2019, CDPQ returned a net 10.4%. By asset class, equities posted the strongest return for the year, at a net 12.4% (slightly below its benchmark of 12.7%), followed by fixed income at 9% (above its 8.2% benchmark) and real assets at -7% (well below its benchmark return of 0.2%). As of Dec. 31, the actual allocation was 49.9% equities, 30.2

Abrupt Change of Guard at CPP Investments

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Last night, The Canadian Press reported CPPIB head Machin gets COVID-19 vaccine in Dubai: The head of Canada's largest pension fund received a COVID-19 vaccination while on a "very personal" trip to Dubai, he told staff in an email Thursday night. Mark Machin disclosed the information in an internal memo after the Wall Street Journal reported he flew to the United Arab Emirates earlier this month, where he received the first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and is awaiting the second dose. Machin said in the email viewed by The Canadian Press that he remains in Dubai with his partner "for many reasons, some of which are deeply personal." "This was a very personal trip and was undertaken after careful consideration and consultation," the memo reads. CPP Investments did not immediately respond to requests for comment Thursday evening. The federal government is actively discouraging Canadians from

OMERS Loses 2.7% in 2020

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Paula Sambo of Bloomberg News reports OMERS has worst loss since 2008 on bad COVID bets: Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System, one of Canada’s largest pension funds, posted its worst result since the global financial crisis after suffering big losses in its private equity and real estate holdings. The pension fund, known as OMERS, lost 2.7 per cent on its investments last year, pushing assets to $105 billion (US$84 billion). It’s the worst result since 2008, when it lost 15.3 per cent. “We have been hit very hard by COVID and we’re not making excuses, but the fact is most of our difficulties this year were directly related to COVID,” Blake Hutcheson, who became chief executive officer on June 1, said in an interview. The pension fund fell far short of its 6.9 per cent return benchmark, and also trailed the average 20 per cent increase of Canadian pension plans, as estimated by Bank of New York Mellon Corp. Losses in its consumer-facing investments, including

PSP Investments Investing in US Private Prisons?

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Richard Warnica of the Toronto Star reports Canada’s largest public sector pension recently invested millions in two US private prison giants — less than two years after CPP got out of the sector: A Canadian Crown corporation has invested millions of dollars in two U.S. private prison giants, financial filings reveal, a move one federal union decried as “abhorrent.” In the last half of 2020, the Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP) bought a total of more than 600,000 shares of CoreCivic and the Geo Group, two of the largest providers of private prisons, jails and immigration detention centres in the United States, according to documents filed with the U.S Securities and Exchange Commission. The moves came even as other large pension funds around the world — including the Canada Pension Plan — have sought to sell off their shares in the private prison sector in recent years amid an escalating backlash from activists and plan members. CoreCivic, Geo and other pri