Aiming to Boost Diversity, Canadian Institutions to Monitor Corporate Behavior

A group of funds holding roughly $2.3 trillion say they will make demands on companies whose stocks are in their portfolios.

A group of Canadian institutional investors with roughly $2.3 trillion in assets have joined a push in the wider industry to integrate diversity and inclusion in their investing practices.

Thirty-one signatories pledged they would monitor the diversity and inclusion practices of Canadian public companies in their portfolios, such as by pushing for improved disclosures, investment industry group Responsible Investment Association said last week. 

The asset owners and managers also said they also expect a revamping of company policies, targets, and timelines that improve diversity among board leadership and senior management.

“We all have a responsibility to ensure that the persistent inequities in business and our society are eliminated,” read the statement. 

“As institutional investors, we can contribute to addressing these inequities in Canada by taking intentional steps to promote diversity and inclusion across our portfolios and within our organizations.”

Signatories include Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo), Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), and British Columbia Investment Management Corporation (BCI). 

Since June, when the death of George Floyd and other events sparked nationwide protests in the U.S., other institutional investors have deepened commitments to address racial economic disparities. In September, the Connecticut treasurer and the Ford Foundation launched a coalition of 14 firms with roughly $460 billion in market capitalization pledged to make greater strides toward racial equity.

Analysts at S&P Global also consider the growing corporate response to the racial unrest will increasingly impact environmental, social, and governance (ESG) scores for businesses.

Other Canadian investors making the pledge include: 

Addenda Capital
AGF Investments
BMO Global Asset Management
Canada Post Corporation Pension Plan
Central 1 Credit Union
CIBC Asset Management
Connor, Clark & Lunn Investment Management
Deetken Impact
Desjardins Group
Global Alpha Capital Management
IG Wealth Management
Jarislowsky Fraser Global Investment Management
Mackenzie Investments
MD Financial Management Inc.
Montrusco Bolton Investments Inc.
NEI Investments
OPSEU Pension Trust (OPTrust)
PCJ Investment Counsel
Rally Assets Inc.
RBC Global Asset Management Inc.
Scheer, Rowlett & Associates Investment Management
SEI Investments
Simon Fraser University
The United Church of Canada
University of Toronto Asset Management (UTAM)

Related Stories: 

Op-Ed: We Are Still Living in the Jackie Robinson Age of Financial Services

Op-Ed: What Helped Me Become an Allocator as an African American Woman

Op-Ed: ‘Widening the Aperture’—A Key to Enhancing Minority Recruitment

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,