Three Pension Perspectives: Kevin Zhu, Aaron Bennett, and Koblavi Fiagbedzi

Climate change, interest rates, and pension coverage — these are just three of the key topics that surfaced throughout the conversations taking place at the 2023 Challenge of Change Forum which was held in Saint Andrews, New Brunswick from May 31 to June 2. Although our events are Chatham House Rules, we were able to sit down with speakers during the forum, including Kevin Zhu, Aaron Bennett, and Koblavi Fiagbedzi. Here’s what they had to say:

The future of the Canadian model — While the Canadian Model remains strong, Canada needs solutions to expand pension coverage in the future. So says Kevin Zhu, Senior Managing Director and Head of Portfolio Construction at OPTrust, who adds that Canada’s aging population has made the issue of retirement security for Canadians even more urgent. Watch more.

Investing in the energy transition — As the world moves to fulfill Net Zero targets, long‑term investors like pension funds need to ensure that the energy transition is built into their investment processes, says Aaron Bennett, Chief Investment Officer at the University Pension Plan. In the case of UPP, the energy transition has been integrated into its investment beliefs and decision making. Watch more.

Rising interest rates and private markets — Rising interest rates will put additional stress on vulnerable companies, says Koblavi Fiagbedzi, Portfolio Manager and Head of Real Assets at the CBC Pension Fund. That means that plan sponsors will need to sharpen their pencils to better understand the impact of private markets on portfolio construction and risk. Watch more.

Interested in joining your peers at the Canadian Leadership Congress? Consider attending our next event, the International Best Practices Forum, being held in Victoria, BC from October 11-13, 2023. Contact Joanne Boccia to find out more!