bcIMC reports 2010-2011 combined pension plan returns

July 26, 2011

Victoria, B.C. —British Columbia Investment Management Corporation (bcIMC) today announced that it recorded a one-year annual return of 10.8 per cent, net of fees, for combined pension plans in the 2011 fiscal year. This exceeds a combined benchmark of 9.7 per cent and provides over $685 million in additional value, net of all investment management fees.

Assets under management were $86.9 billion for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2011, an increase of $7.2 billion from the previous year. The amount exceeds bcIMC’s previous high of $85.0 billion at March 31, 2008 prior to the onset of the financial crisis.

“Most asset classes outperformed their one-year benchmarks, with only certain public equities falling short,” said Doug Pearce, CEO/CIO of bcIMC. “A number of geopolitical and macroeconomic events, combined with numerous company-specific matters, caused the markets to be volatile, complex, and fast-moving during the year. This impacted many of our enhanced indexed and active equity funds.”

For the 10-year period ending March 31, 2011, bcIMC’s combined pension return was 6.0 per cent on an annualized basis against a benchmark of 5.9 cent. For the 20-year period, the return was 8.3 per cent on an annualized basis against a benchmark of 8.2 per cent.

“Looking ahead, the capital markets will continue to be dynamic in nature, always evolving and presenting new risks and opportunities,” said Pearce. “bcIMC will continue to build a portfolio of quality holdings that will deliver the returns our clients expect while anticipating the impact of global trends and events on the capital markets.”

Highlights of the year include:

  • Acquiring Parkbridge Lifestyle Communities Inc., Canada’s largest operator of land-lease communities
  • Increasing our existing direct interests in companies within our infrastructure portfolio, such as water utilities Thames Water (U.K.) and Aquarion Water Company (U.S.)
  • Augmenting our responsible investing activities with the filing of three shareholder proposals focused on the issue of majority voting policies for board elections
  • Engaging with twice as many public companies within our portfolio as last year, to discuss perceived environmental, social or governance risks to their business and mitigating efforts undertaken, as part of our ongoing corporate engagement activities
  • Enhancing our product offerings with the addition of the Canadian Real Return Bond fund and three global equity funds, to provide clients with access to new opportunities presented by the evolving capital markets
  • Broadening our mortgage risk-rating system to reward all projects incorporating environmentally sound principles
  • Expanding the bcIMC team with the creation of our Capital Markets Research Group, providing specialized in-house expertise in a variety of sectors supported by a customized research platform.

bcIMC’s portfolio on behalf of clients encompasses six major asset classes: Fixed Income (29.1% or $25.3 billion), Mortgages (4.5% or $3.9 billion), Private Placements (4.3% or $3.8 billion), Public Equities (43.8% or $38.0 billion), Real Estate (13.5% or $11.7 billion), and Strategic Investments and Infrastructure (4.7% or $4.1 billion). bcIMC manages a currency hedging program of $115 million.

For more information about bcIMC and to access the bcIMC 2010–2011 Annual Report, please visit the bcIMC website at www.bcimc.com.