One of the highlights of the year at OMERS is our annual Spring Information Meeting. It's an opportunity for employers, stakeholders and members to meet, share ideas and talk about our Plan. This year, the meeting was held on April 13th at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. OMERS senior leaders reviewed 2014 accomplishments and outlined the challenges and the opportunities that lie ahead.
Featured presenters were:
- George Cooke, Board Chair, OMERS Administration Corporation
- Michael Latimer, CEO and President, OMERS Administration Corporation
- Jonathan Simmons, Chief Financial Officer, OMERS Administration Corporation
- Marianne Love and Brian O'Keefe, Co-Chairs, OMERS Sponsors Corporation
- Warren Bell, Chief Operating Officer and Pension Services, OMERS Administration Corporation
Highlights of the presentations included:
- Improved funded ratio for the Primary Plan – from 88.2% in 2013 to 90.8%
- Solid performance in 2014 – a 10.0% net rate of return
- CEO priorities – building investment results to earn consistent long-term returns, and aligning resources to get the right people with the right skills in the right jobs
- OMERS Administration Corporation and Sponsors Corporation's joint strategic plan –working together to set out key priorities and deliver a joint strategic plan in 2015
- The importance of diversification to enhance returns and balance risk – OMERS investments are diversified by geography, economic sector, risk exposure, asset class and income stream
- OMERS Sponsors Corporation's update – no contribution rate or benefit changes in 2015 and a continued focus on Plan sustainability with its Funding Management Strategy
- OMERS focus on serving our members – investing in technology, partnering with our employers and serving our members through all stages of their life.
A panel discussion featured OMERS Chief Investment Officers: Blake Hutcheson, Real Estate and Strategic Investments; Michael Rolland, Private Markets; and Satish Rai, Public Markets. The panel spoke about the importance of diversification, working together and investing where we have the expertise, large-scale infrastructure and smaller-scale private market investments (both types of investments play a part in delivering on the pension promise), and Oxford's strong track record in real estate with property development.
When asked what the most important thing the audience could take away from the meeting, Michael Rolland replied "I understand what my job really is. It is to pay pensions" Satish Rai quickly added "My mother is an OMERS recipient, and she's one tough customer."
The meeting concluded with an open forum question and answer period. Members, employers and stakeholders asked a variety of questions. Topics covered everything from OMERS investment performance and strategic investments to the participation of part-time workers in the OMERS Plan. One member asked about OMERS approach to green investments. In response, Blake Hutchinson noted the commitment of our real estate business, Oxford Properties, to the environment. Oxford Properties has a track record of numerous awards for sustainability, including first place for sustainability performance in the North American diversified office-retail category for the second year in a row.