A Look Back at OMERS 2014 Spring Information Meeting

June 01, 2014
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Communicating with Employers, Sponsors and Stakeholders on key developments at OMERS.

The Spring Information Meeting was a big success. Read highlights, including some of the comments and concerns raised by attendees, and the feedback we received about the meeting.

Held April 3, 2014 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, OMERS 2014 Spring Information Meeting was an opportunity for our stakeholders to hear directly from OMERS on a wide range of topics, including 2013 financial results, our economic outlook, investment and capital market strategies, and the Specified Plan Change process. It was equally an opportunity for our stakeholders to ask questions, voice concerns and engage in dialogue with OMERS senior leadership.

Our goal this year was to deliver on our promise of a more engaging and interactive meeting, where participants could ask questions and express ideas. After all, your opinion matters, and it’s important that we hear from you.

Featured presenters included:

  • George Cooke, OMERS Administration Corporation (OAC) Chair
  • Michael Latimer, OAC CEO & President
  • Jonathan Simmons, OAC Chief Financial Officer
  • James Donegan, OMERS Capital Markets President & CEO
  • OMERS Sponsors Corporation Co-Chairs Marianne Love and Brian O’Keefe
  • Blake Hutcheson, President and CEO, Oxford Properties

Highlights of the presentations included:

  • Introductions to the new CEO & President and CFO who are focused on delivering the pension promise for OMERS stakeholders
  • A detailed look at 2013 OMERS investment returns
  • An in-depth discussion of the change in OMERS capital markets strategy, how the change was implemented and how it will contribute to keeping the pension promise
  • Messaging that SC decision-making remains focused on plan sustainability and maintaining the pension promise
  • An overview from Blake Hutcheson regarding Oxford Properties, OMERS real estate arm, about how that organization manages real estate investments to help deliver the pension promise.

About 200 OMERS stakeholders participated in the Spring Information Meeting, either in-person or via our live audio webcast. With that many people in the audience, you can be sure there were many questions raised during the interactive sessions.

Questions put to the speakers by audience members covered everything from our investment in Bruce Power, to aspects of pension administration, to how government initiatives around retirement issues may impact OMERS. One member even prefaced his question by observing that OMERS would pay his pension as long as he kept breathing, and that he loves this arrangement.

There were also a number of candid and direct questions about OMERS 2013 returns and performance.

In their open and transparent answers to these questions, OMERS senior leadership reiterated to the entire audience their very tight focus on improving the Plan’s funded status, and improving OMERS investment returns. During the meeting, they also provided detailed information, based on evidence-based research, that although 2013 was not kind to diversified risk-balanced portfolios like OMERS, our new capital markets portfolio is designed to deliver more consistent positive returns. The strategy enhances diversification, both by markets and by asset classes, and minimizes loss of capital during recessions – helping OMERS provide secure and sustainable pensions.

So, how did we do?

Based on feedback gathered from participants through a post-event feedback form:

  • 87% of respondents considered the Spring Information Meeting to be “relevant” or “very relevant”, and that there was enough time for interactive discussion.
  • The majority of respondents was equally impressed with the Oxford session, and expressed a strong level of interest in the individual updates provided by the presenters.
  • A number of respondents said they would enjoy learning about Borealis Infrastructure at a future meeting.
  • A number of respondents indicated that future presentations should minimize technical jargon and that we need to better adhere to timing.

All comments will be taken into consideration as we begin preparations for our 2014 Fall Information Meeting.

Listen to an audio recording of the 2014 Spring Information Meeting. If you haven’t done so already, please tell us what you think about the meeting by sending a note to stakeholderrelations@omers.com.

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