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2008 BC Pension Forum

December 4, 2008 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

8:00-8:30 NETWORKING BREAKFAST (Sponsored by UFCW 1518)
  • Jim Sinclair, President, BC Federation of Labour
  • Peter Chapman, Executive Director, SHARE
Towards adequate affordable pensions for all Canadians: Lessons from Australia
A declining percentage of Canadians have access to decent pensions. Across Canada, governments are proposing the creation of defined contribution Supplemental Pension Plans. In Australia, a similar debate led to the creation of mandatory DC pension plans with significant involvement of the labour movement. Michael O’Sullivan will share lessons from that experience.
  • Michael O’Sullivan, President, Australian Council of Superannuation Investors (ACSI)
Protecting plan member assets in turbulent financial markets – what is needed?
Recent financial market volatility is renewing attention on how well financial markets are serving the interests of pension plans. How are today’s turbulent financial markets affecting pension plans members’ assets and the prospects for investment of those funds? What steps should institutional investors take to ensure financial markets are fair and sustainable? How can investors ensure that the interests of corporate boards and CEOs are aligned with those of pension plan beneficiaries? Do we need new forms of capital market regulation? Experts from Canada, Australia and the United States will debate the issue.
  • Doug Pearce, CEO/CIO, British Columbia Investment Management Corporation (bcIMC)
  • Michael O’Sullivan, President, ACSI
  • Brandon Rees, Consultant, Office of Investment, American Federation of Labour and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO)
  • Moderator: Lori Mayhew Secretary Treasurer and Chair Pension Committee, Canadian Office and Professional Employees Union (COPE) – Local 378
10:45-11:00 BREAK
11:00-12:30 MORNING BREAKOUT SESSIONS (Select one)
Workshop 1: Pension Funding Issues
Pension funding is a balancing act involving many assumptions and compromises. This session will review pension funding basics and put them in the context of today’s market and funding stress. How can trustees control risks and what is the relation between risk control and pension funding? Is the loosening of pension solvency rules going on across Canada prudent or foolhardy?
  • Neil Ramsden Actuary, PBI Actuarial Consultants Ltd.
  • Dennis Blatchford Executive/HR Coordinator, Health Sciences Association of BC
  • Moderator: Michelle Laurie President, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers – Local 258
Workshop 2: The Sub-Prime Crisis: Origins and Implications for Canadian Pension Funds
The unraveling of the sub-prime mortgage market in the United States has sent shockwaves rippling through the global financial services industry, and caused credit markets to rebel. How should Canadian Pension Funds respond? What action should they take?
  • Bruce Geddes,Fixed Income Specialty Portfolio Manager, Phillips, Hager & North Investment Management Ltd.
  • Philip Falls, President & CEO, UBC Investment Management Trust Inc.
  • Moderator: Ron Davis Associate Professor, UBC Faculty of Law
Workshop 3: Reining In Runaway CEO Pay: What can shareholders do?
With CEO salary multiples soaring and their pay seeming disconnected from country performance or the long-term interest of shareholders, how can investors bring greater accountability to Executive Compensation? Hear about two significant steps towards that goal: Ethical Funds demands that Canadian National Railway account for its CEO bonus award in a year of safety disaster and SHARE’s drive to bring shareholder advisory vote on CEO pay to Canadian corporate annual meetings.
  • Laura O’Neill, Director of Law and Policy, SHARE
  • Jennifer Coulson Manager, Sustainability, Ethical Funds Company
Workshop 4: Legal and Regulatory Update
The pension legal and regulatory world is constantly changing. Hear two of Vancouver’s top pension lawyers discuss the important legal developments of the last year.
  • Murray Campbell, Partner, Lawson Lundell
  • David Blair Trust Lawyer, Victory Square Law Office, LLP
  • Moderator: Carolyn Prellwitz Assistant Director, Income Security Division, BC Teachers’ Federation
12:30-1:30 LUNCH (Sponsored by CONCERT Properties)
Climate change: The Challange for Pension Trustees
The defining environmental issue of the day is climate change. It will affect both the long-term investment prospects for pension funds and the financial security of future retirees in ways we are only just beginning to realize. Investment decisions we make today are one of the most important forces shaping both the severity of climate change and how we prepare to meet its challenges. Hear one of the world’s leading responsible investment experts discuss the impact of climate change on your portfolio and what trustees can do to get on ahead of this emerging issue.
  • Raj Thamotheram, Director, Responsible Investment, AXA Investment Managers
Workshop 1: The Future of Retirement Benefits
Retirees preferences and financial realities are constantly reshaping what retirement benefits are most important to plan members and what they will cost to deliver. The Ontario Federation of Teachers has undertaken extensive research to understand its members’ interests and to help it seek changes to pension provisions. Insights from the research will be discussed.
  • Jeff Holmes Director, Pension and Economic Affairs, Ontario Teachers’ Federation
  • Dale Lauber Former Disability Plan Administrator and Pension Advisor, BC Teachers’ Federation
  • Moderator: Carolyn Chalifoux Secretary-Treasurer, New Westminster & District Labour Council
Workshop 2: Shareholder Engagement in Practice: Case Studies on Human Rights, Responsible Real Estate, and Sustainable  Forestry
Much of the underlying value of a pension fund’s equity portfolio is the future earnings stream of the companies it owns. Increasingly, that value hinges on non-financial factors such as community relations, reputation, human capital practices and ecosystem services. This workshop features case studies describing how three investors are addressing risks through shareholder engagement.
  • Bill Brassington, Joint Pension Advisory Committee, Public Service Alliance of Canada Pension Plan (PSAC)
  • Ashley Hamilton, Research Analyst, SHARE
  • Paula Barrios, Research Analyst, SHARE
  • Moderator: Diane Wood, SHARE Board Member
Workshop 3: Infrastructure as an Asset Class: Risks and Opportunities for your Pension Fund
Is infrastructure investing a saving grace for pension funds struggling to earn reasonable, stable long-term financial returns or is it a Trojan horse of union-busting and poor public finance? The devil is in the details. Hear the results of recent research.
  • Jordan Berger Principal, Head of Responsible Investment, Canada, Mercer Investment Consulting
  • David Podmore President and CEO, Concert Properties
  • Moderator: Cindy Oliver, President, Federation of Post-Secondary Educators of British Columbia
Workshop 4: Microfinance and Social Venture Investing
Why are some of the world’s largest pension funds investing hundreds of millions of dollars in financial products that serve the world’s poorest people? What happens when you cross hard-nosed venture capital investing with high social purpose business? Pension funds are increasingly looking beyond traditional debt and equity markets in search of higher rates of return and better correlation with pension fund liabilities. These leading edge alternative asset classes and innovative products seek to deliver a new kind of financial return.
  • Nicole Bradbury, Vice-President, Renewal2
  • Kathy Wutke Manager, Labour Strategy and Banking, VanCity Credit Union
  • Moderator: Reid Johnson President, Health Sciences Association of British Columbia
3:00-3:15 BREAK
Where is Pension Legislation Headed in Canada?
The Ontario Expert Commission on Pensions and the BC-Alberta Joint Expert Panel on Pension Standards have conducted landmark examinations of pension systems in two of Canada’s most important jurisdictions. Their reports, due on the eve of the conference, will have far-reaching consequences for pension plan members and those responsible for government plans. The presenters will focus on the key issues that were raised in the submissions and look at the various regulatory options being considered to address these issues.
  • Murray Gold, Advisory Panel, Ontario Expert Commission on Pensions
  • Scott Sweatman, British Columbia Co-Chair, BC-Alberta Joint Expert Panel on Pension Standards
  • Irene Lanzinger, President, British Columbia Teachers’ Federation
  • Moderator: Jim Sinclair, President, BC Federation of Labour


Hyatt Regency Hotel
Vancouver, Canada


December 4, 2008
8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Event Category:


Hyatt Regency Hotel
Vancouver, Canada


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