UTAM pension portfolio returns negative 1.6% in 2018

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U of T campus © Lin Chu-Wen /123RF Stock Photos In a challenging year for global equity markets, with fixed income returns below average, the University of Toronto Asset Management Corp.’s pension portfolio returned a negative 1.6 per cent, while it’s endowment portfolio returned a negative 1.5 per cent, net of investment fees and expenses.

The UTAM manages funds for the university’s pension, endowment and short-term working capital investments. Its total assets were $10 billion at the end of 2018. Within the $10 billion, pension assets totalled $4.9 billion, which is down slightly from $5 billion at the end of 2017.

“2018 was a challenging market environment for investing, but our focus remains on the long term,” said Daren Smith, the UTAM’s president and chief investment officer, in a press release. “And we believe that we have the right systems, processes, governance and — most importantly — talented people in place to continue delivering value to the University of Toronto.”

The UTAM’s pension and endowment portfolios have generated about 7.8 per cent per year over the last 10 years.

The 2018 annual report also highlighted the UTAM’s commitment to responsible investing.

“In 2018, we further developed our environmental, social and governance integration practices such that they are now considered in every aspect of our investment process,” the report said. “The members of our responsible investing committee and all staff engaged in the investment and risk process routinely consider ESG risks and opportunities.”

The UTAM’s notable efforts in 2018 included publishing the carbon footprint of its pension and endowment portfolios and joining the investor group of the 30% Club Canada.

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