British Columbia Investment Management Returns 7.5% in Fiscal 2024

Assets of the plan increased to $182.88 billion at the end of March, boosted by strong returns in equities and private debt. 

British Columbia Investment Management Corp.
announced on Thursday that it had achieved a 7.5% return for its combined pension plan in fiscal year 2024, a period that ends March 31.  

Gross assets of the pension fund grew to C$250.4 billion ($182.88 billion) an increase from C$233 billion ($170.28 billion) the year before.  

BCI manages the investments for 29 entities, including public pension funds, insurance plans and special purpose funds for public trusts, endowments and government bodies. The pension fund has 700,000 beneficiaries.  

Over the past five, 10, 15 and 20 years, BCI has returned an annualized 7.5%, 7.8%, 9.0% and 7.7% respectively, as of March 31, 2024. BCI’s reported performance is based off its 6 largest pension clients by AUM, referred to as the combined pension plan clients, they are the College Pension Plan, Municipal Pension Plan, Teachers’ Pension Plan, BC Hydro Power Smart, the Public Service Pension Plan and Work Safe BC.  

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“We delivered solid absolute results even through challenged markets this year,” said Gordon J. Fyfe, BCI’s chief executive officer and CIO, in a statement. “This was not a coincidence. Rather, it speaks to our team’s diligent risk approach and prudent liquidity management, which provided us with resilience and capability to capture market dislocations and deploy capital.” 

Strong Equities, Weak Real Estate 

Like many of its Canadian peers, BCI reported strong returns from equities, both Canadian and global while its real estate assets struggled. All asset classes reported by BCI had positive returns in the fiscal year, except for real estate. “The real estate equity market has faced challenges as interest rates remain elevated, impacting valuations, cost of debt and lower occupancies,” the fund stated in its annual report. 

Equities across all geographies in the plan’s portfolios had double-digit returns. Canadian equities returned 14.6% in the fiscal year; while emerging-market public equities returned 10.1% The biggest driver of the fund’s equity returns were U.S. technology stocks, which helped its public equities portfolio return 26.5% in the fiscal year.  

In its fixed-income portfolio, private debt returned 13.3% in the fiscal year for BCI. Short-term bonds returned 5.2%, and nominal bonds returned 1.9%. The fund’s infrastructure and renewable resources portfolio returned 7.0% in the fiscal year, while private equity and real estate debt returned 6.0% and 6.9% respectively. Real estate, the fund’s worst-performing asset class returned negative 5.0% 

Related Stories: 

PSP Investments Returns 7.2% in Fiscal Year 2024 

Public Equities Spur 10.2% Return for University Pension Plan Ontario in 2023 

CPP Investments Returns 8% in Fiscal 2024 

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