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National pension hub to develop insights into challenges facing Canada’s pension industry

The Global Risk Institute in Financial Services (GRI) today announced the creation of a National Pension Hub (NPH) that will serve as a Canadian centre for pension knowledge and research. The purpose of the NPH is to provide pension and income security research that, among other things, will lead to innovative solutions to pension design, governance and investment challenges.

To date, more than a dozen organizations have joined the NPH, including major pension plans, accounting firms, consultancies and public corporations, as well as a number of individual opinion leaders in the field of pensions. Additional members are being recruited, including governments and companies associated with pension plans. The NPH will be administered by the GRI.

"The diversity of our membership in the National Pension Hub is one of our key strengths," said Barbara Zvan, Chair of the NPH, and Chief Risk & Strategy Officer at Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan. "It will help us produce innovative ideas and research that reflect a wide range of interests and perspectives."

The pension industry has been grappling with a number of evolving challenges over the past decade including an aging population with a longer life expectancy, finite resources to invest in, more complex regulations, greater market volatility, and the need to generate strong returns in a slower growth economy. The NPH will provide a pipeline of objective research on pensions and income security that will help pension plan providers, investment managers, policy makers, and government administrators address these and other challenges.

In particular, the NPH will be an incubator for outcome-based research that addresses three primary objectives:

• Provide Innovative solutions to retirement saving challenges;
• Create sustainable capacity for academic research; and,
• Serve as an unbiased source for policy consultation.

"We plan to build a deep reservoir of pension knowledge and research that will inform pension industry stakeholders, encourage debate on pension policy, and lead to consensus on critical issues," said Richard Nesbitt, CEO of GRI. "At GRI, we've developed a proven model of how to create value from research by working with academic and industry leaders. We want to apply this model of thought leadership to the pension industry."

The NPH's first meeting will take place at the beginning of November, at which time it will set its initial research topics and projects. Most projects will have a two-year time horizon with interim reports delivered after the first year.

The member organizations of the NPH at its launch date are: AIMCo, BCIMC, CDPQ, CPPIB, CN Rail, Deloitte University, IMCO, KPMG, McKinsey, Mercer, OMERS, OTPP, PSP, PwC and the GRI. Individual members who are pension experts include Hugh Mackenzie and Bob Baldwin.

About GRI:
The Global Risk Institute is the leading forum for ideas, engagement and building capacity for the management of risks in financial services. We are a non-profit, public and private partnership with 32 government and corporate members from asset management, banking, insurance and pension management. The institute's goal is to develop fresh perspectives on emerging risks, to engage members, and to enhance risk-management skills. Our activities support academics, corporations, policy makers and regulators. We take a global view of the risks facing the financial services industry from our base in Toronto, Canada.

Media contact:
David Moorcroft, Public Affairs Advisor,
Global Risk Institute in Financial Services
Tel: +1-416-727-1858