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2022 marks successful year for B.C.’s public sector pension investment manager – Victoria News

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It’s been a big year for the British Columbia Investment Management Corporation (BCI). The Victoria-based investment corporation is the investment manager for many of B.C.’s public sector pension plans, as well as insurance funds that provide more than three million Autoplan insurance policies annually, and benefits coverage to more than two million workers and 225,000 companies, and also public trusts and endowments.

BCI achieved a 7.4 per cent annual investment return on behalf of British Columbia’s public sector pension plans for the one-year period ending March 31, 2022. BCI’s active, in-house, global investment strategies added $11.5 billion in net assets under management (AUM), increasing BCI’s total AUM to $211.1 billion, making it one of the largest institutional investors in Canada.

The annual return exceeded the combined market benchmark result of 4.6 per cent, and the 2.8 per cent outperformance generated by BCI’s investment activities equates to $4.4 billion created for BCI’s pension plan clients, helping to strengthen the financial position of the plans whose members total nearly three quarters of a million people in B.C.

Looking longer term, over a 10-year period BCI generated an annualized 10-year return of 9.1 per cent, compared to a combined market benchmark result of 8.0 per cent for their pension plan clients. Surpassing the benchmark by 1.1 per cent over that time period equates to $13.2 billion in value generated notes Ramy Rayes, BCI’s Executive Vice President of Investment Strategy & Risk. “If you look at our results another way, BCI’s strong rate of return over the course of the last decade means that, for every $100 a pension plan member received in retirement benefits, $75 on average has been created and provided by BCI’s ongoing strategic investment activity.”

Its investment success has earned BCI the Canadian Investment Review 2021 Pension Leadership Award for Sustainable Investing, the 2021 Responsible Investment Association Leadership Award for Integration, and achieved a top spot in the Responsible Asset Allocator Initiative’s 2021 Leaders List of the 30 Most Responsible Asset Allocators. BCI also achieved a 10th-place ranking in Infrastructure Investor’s 2021 Global Investor 50 – a list of the largest institutional investors in global infrastructure.

The results of successful planning

BCI’s well-diversified portfolios and sophisticated investment strategies work to safeguard clients’ capital through unpredictable market turbulence – impacts which currently range from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Those same strategies will continue to serve clients well in the current environment of global inflation.

“Planning ahead is imperative,” Rayes says. While you never know what specific events may influence global markets, “you must have a process in place to be nimble when they come. Having both the people and the plan means being able to deliver that long term success for our clients.”

Working to further expand its ability to capture global investment opportunities, BCI has recently opened a New York City office for its private equity program, and a London, U.K. office, designed to support infrastructure and renewable resource investments, will open by the end of the year.

Focusing on Talent

A key factor in BCI’s growth is its recognition that people are essential for corporate success.

It’s why, in addition to investment accolades, they’re just as proud to be named one of BC’s Top Employers, one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers and one of Canada’s Family-Friendly Employers for the third consecutive year, Rayes emphasizes.

As the corporation has grown to more than 600 employees from about 200 in 2016, BCI recognizes that attracting talented people isn’t always easy. So, beyond rewarding careers, it has focused on creating a welcoming, diverse culture that also recognizes the corporation’s place in the community.

Alongside corporate support for initiatives like United Way Southern Vancouver Island, Junior Achievement of B.C. literacy programs which have been provided to 2,600 students across B.C., BCI recently doubled its staff volunteer time – now, employees receive two paid days off annually to volunteer in the community with an organization of their choice, Rayes notes.

And, recognizing the need to continue its investment in the future, BCI has nurtured a robust student co-op and internship program that provides students from post-secondary educational facilities across Canada meaningful work experiences – a critical investment in its next generation of investment and business professionals.

To learn more, visit BCI.ca and follow on LinkedIn.

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BCI has nurtured a robust student co-op and internship program that provides meaningful work experience – a critical investment in its next generation of investment professionals. Derek Ford photo

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Top 3 investment bets for millennials to beat market volatility and make money – Economic Times

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There is a thrill for many to do things that are so-called out of the ordinary. As mentioned in the first part of this story, millennials are the impatient investor class who are all up to ignore the stereotypes, bet even on riskier investments.

On that note, in the first part we talked about three new-age investments that go beyond the ordinary for the millennials or the digital natives. To know more about millennials and more about the investment options, you can read the first part here:
Top 3 new-age investment bets for millennials looking to take risk and earn big

Nonetheless, it is never bad to be cautious. A roller coaster ride is fun at the amusement parks but when it comes to using the hard-earned money, no one will be keen to lose their savings. It is often said volatility is the daily crux of the market. Experts also opine it can be a motivation to capitalize on the imbalances.

“Volatility is the ghost that haunts you only if you look at it. The best way to avoid volatility is to ignore it; don’t trade into a market when there’s euphoria or out of it when there’s panic. Instead, constrict and hold a diversified portfolio for the long term, or better still, a mutual fund, which isolates individuals from volatility shocks,” Utkarsh Sinha, managing director at boutique investment bank firm Bexley Advisors said.

The economy too is at a volatile juncture with slower-than-expected growth recovery and galloping inflation. For stocks, the plausibility of earnings growth is diluting and valuation is said to trade below the long-term average. So, what could be better than to have some safe options even during a volatile period, enjoy the thrills of new-age investments and still achieve the monetary goals?

Girirajan Murugan, the chief executive officer at FundsIndia, lists more instruments that will help millennials to avoid some volatility:

InvIT – Infrastructure Investment Trust

This involves a trust channeling investments from individuals/institutions toward infrastructure projects. In a developing country like ours, the demand for good infrastructure is huge and perennial, in my opinion, Murugan said, adding that an investment in an InvIT with a good management will be a fruitful investment for the long term.

However, most infrastructure projects are subject to government regulations and interference. Change in the political space could affect such investments. Lack of choices to choose from is a severe disadvantage. Being a budding avenue, the participation in this investment is comparatively low. This means that selling them in the current market could be difficult. However, if the market for this type of investment takes off, then this concern will be void.

REIT – Real Estate Investment Trust

Similar to InvITs, REITs pool resources to invest in real estate assets. “Real estate investment has not lost its flair even today, despite being a conventional investment. That’s exactly why I’d like to call this a “grandfather-approved investment,” Murugan said.

By enabling part ownership, REIT has made real estate more accessible for all sections of people. REIT investments buy you ownership to the property in question, proportionate to the investment made. The income from this asset shall also follow the same proportion.

There are 2 categories of REIT – tradable and non-tradable. Some non-tradable REITs disclose the share values only after 18 months. Non-tradable REITs also carry the disadvantage of less liquidity.

ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) Investing

In this mode, the investment is directed toward the development of businesses that toil for the betterment of the world. One can either invest through readily available ESG Mutual Funds, or they can identify the right companies and invest in their stocks.

“As far as ESG investing is concerned, it’s a thumbs up from me, and I say this from an ethical standpoint. The reason is that a good planet and a harmonious society are something we can’t survive without. When it boils down to it, man will eventually be forced to choose survival over profitability. If you choose to do it for the purpose, rather than for profitability, this may be one of your best investments,” Murugan said.

ESG assets are on track to exceed $53 trillion by 2025 and represent more than a third of the $140.5 trillion in projected total assets under management (AuM), according to Bloomberg Intelligence.

Bexley Advisors’ Sinha said millennials are at the best point of their lives currently to invest, as they have the bulk of their lives ahead of them. With these options explained, the millennials perhaps have better insight on the options available. Remember how we introduced the generations in the first part of the story and talked about an angry young man from Bollywood? Well, keep the swag and invest with prudence.

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How rising interest rates impact insurers' investment decisions – Canadian Underwriter

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Recent interest rate hikes aimed at curbing inflation, and the potential for more rate hikes next year, has the insurance industry keeping an eye on its investment returns.

But while the transition from a low-interest-rate environment to a higher-rate environment will create short-term challenges, it also creates a long-term opportunity, noted Gord Dowhan, CFO at Wawanesa Insurance in a recent Canadian Underwriter interview.

“Over time…higher interest rates can create an opportunity for us to increase our yield moving forward,” Dowhan said. “As bonds mature, it gives us the opportunity to invest at a higher rate.

“You’ve seen this experience in Europe and elsewhere, where they were at zero percent and negative interest-rate environments in some cases. Having higher rates is healthier than being in that environment [of extremely low or negative interest rates], and there’s definitely an opportunity for us to pick up yield and investment returns within our investment portfolio as those instruments mature.”

For an insurer’s portfolio, Dowhan noted a rising interest rate environment makes certain investment instruments more attractive. And his firm has some of these in place, including preferred shares, limited recourse capital notes, and floating-rate or variable-rate debt.

“We’re also looking at real estate and infrastructure investments. From a rate-reset, preferred-share perspective, this gives us the opportunity to increase our yield; the dividend yield resets regularly based on five-year government bond yields,” he said.

“In a rising rate environment, this gives us an opportunity to increase our returns. Floating-rate, or variable-rate, debt has become increasingly attractive as rates rise. We’ve invested in and will continue to invest in floating-rate debt and look for opportunities to grow our portfolio there.”

What’s more, Dowhan said that during high inflationary periods, real estate and infrastructure tend to outperform other asset classes.

“The underlying instruments within these products, leases and other revenues that produce revenue streams linked to inflation, is one reason why they typically outperform other asset classes during periods of high inflation,” he told CU. “So, opportunities exist for us to enhance our yield in the long term and continue to deliver value for our policyholders.”

This article is excepted from one that appeared in the August-September issue of Canadian Underwriter. Feature image by iStock.com/porcorex

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Landa Sees More Growth, EPac Gets New Investment And More | Label and Narrow Web – Label & Narrow Web Magazine

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Demonstrating its commitment to supporting its growing customer base and interest from future customers, Landa Digital Printing is aggressively expanding its global team and business development infrastructure with the appointment of several new sales professionals.

New Landa appointments include:

  • Bill Lawver, Inside Sales Representative
  • Michael Weyermann, Regional Sales Manager – Northeast
  • Steve Smith, Regional Sales Manager – Southeast
  • Danny Green, Regional Sales Manager – Mideast
  • Michelle Weir, Regional Sales Manager, Southwest

Sharon Cohen, chief business officer, Landa Digital Printing, comments, “We are delighted to have secured the talent and experience of Bill, Michael, Steve, Danny and Michelle. Their highly relevant backgrounds will be instrumental in supporting our growth plans across North America, while also supporting the wider team to ensure continued high customer satisfaction, innovation and success.

Meanwhile, Amcor has announced a further strategic investment of up to $45 million in ePac Flexible Packaging. The investment will increase Amcor’s minority shareholding in ePac Holdings LLC.

Amcor’s executive vice president of strategy and development, Ian Wilson, comments, “This additional investment reflects our confidence in ePac’s entrepreneurial team and their proven ability to rapidly scale in the high growth, often higher value short run segment. Since our initial investment last year, we have been deeply impressed with ePac’s focused and innovative business model centered around deploying a very high level of digitalization and customization. ePac’s proven digital technologies enable the delivery of exceptional service levels and significantly reduced lead times. These specializations are designed to meet the unique speed to market and service needs of locally based small to medium customers, skill sets that are highly transferable to areas of Amcor’s core business.

Here are the highest-trafficked news items for the week ending on September 23:

1. Landa announces five senior additions to NA sales team
2. Amcor expands investment in ePac Flexible Packaging
3. FLAG enjoys productive Labelexpo Americas
4. Mondi invests in new research and development center in Germany
5. S-OneLP recognized as Global Label Award winner

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