June 19, 2014
$1.7 Billion in Added Value for Pension Plan Clients
Victoria, B.C. – British Columbia Investment Management Corporation (bcIMC) today announced annual combined pension plan returns, net of all costs, of 14.7 per cent for the year ending March 31, 2014. These exceeded a combined benchmark of 12.5 per cent and translate into a value add of C$1.7 billion. Gross assets under management rose to C$114.0 billion.
“Despite a competitive investment landscape, our broad asset mix performed strongly in the last year. Overweighting global equities and underweighting fixed income were the main drivers of the double- digit returns. We feel the global economy will continue to improve and we are optimistic about our portfolio in the year ahead,” said Doug Pearce, Chief Executive Officer/Chief Investment Officer of bcIMC.
He added that solid performance in Canadian equities, infrastructure and renewable resources, as well as global real estate, also contributed to this year’s strong returns above their respective benchmarks. bcIMC is responsible for generating returns and creating long-term client wealth. bcIMC’s rate of return for pension plan clients over a 15-year period was 7.0 per cent against a combined benchmark of 6.4 per cent with a value add of C$6.0 billion.
On average, C$75 of every C$100 a pension plan member receives in retirement benefits is provided by bcIMC’s investment activities. There were a number of investment highlights from the past year including:
- Increasing our diversified portfolio to C$114.0 billion of gross managed assets, up from C$102.8 billion as of March 31, 2013
- Announcing the intention to establish our first foreign office in London, United Kingdom, followed by an office in Singapore, locations bcIMC views as core markets with long-term growth opportunities
- Committing C$2.5 billion to real assets in keeping with bcIMC’s philosophy of being a long-term investor seeking stable returns for clients
- Expanding our thematic investment program with investments in targeted publicly traded food and healthcare companies.
“As a long-term investor, bcIMC believes responsible investing means safeguarding and growing the financial value of the companies we invest in by taking environmental, social and governance matters (ESG) into account when making investment decisions,” added Pearce. “We are pleased that more companies are focusing on ESG as the way forward.”
bcIMC’s responsible investing highlights for the year included:
- Encouraging the Ontario Securities Commission to require companies to establish and disclose policies and targets for the number of women on a company’s board of directors and in senior management
- Engaging with 180 companies during the fiscal year on corporate governance, climate change and human rights themes
- Actively participating in Principles for Responsible Investing (PRI) steering committees on hydraulic fracturing, labour standards in the agricultural supply chain, sustainable financial system, and guidelines for private equity general partners
- Being one of the first Canadian investors to invest in global green bonds issued by the International Finance Corporation, the private sector lending arm of the World Bank Group.
bcIMC’s portfolio includes six major asset classes: Fixed Income (22% or C$25.1 billion), Mortgages (2.6% or C$3.0 billion), Private Placements (4.8% or C$5.5 billion), Public Equities (47.6% or C$54.2 billion), Real Estate (17.4% or C$19.8 billion), and Renewable Resources and Infrastructure (5.6% or C$6.4 billion). bcIMC’s 2013–2014 Annual Report will be released in mid-July and available on the bcIMC website at www.bcimc.com