Our Investments

Funding a stable, sustainable pension promise

Our investment program has one goal – to deliver a secure, stable retirement income to our members today and tomorrow. As a pension fund, UPP’s unique investment mandate is to earn the returns needed to keep the Plan fully funded, at the lowest acceptable level of risk.

We will design our investment strategy with sustainable pension security at the core of everything we do.

Our Investment Road Ahead

July 1, 2021 marks UPP’s Day One and the very beginning of our investment journey.

  • Solid Start (2020 – July 1, 2021)
    • This past year was marked by the tremendous collaboration and effort of many, to establish the infrastructure and facilities to bring together over 35,000 members and five pension plans across three universities*, with $10.5 billion in assets under management.

      * Queen’s University, the University of Guelph and the University of Toronto

      This included multifaceted legal and operational work to transfer and combine the asset portfolios of the University of Guelph and Queen’s University into one UPP fund on July 1, 2021 (representing 40% of our assets under management).

      In the past six months, our team has grown to over 40 cross-functional specialists, with sophisticated knowledge in finance, actuarial science, investment strategy, pension services delivery, stakeholder engagement, human capital strategy and enterprise operations.

      The University of Toronto will continue managing its assets as agents of UPP until April 1, 2022*, while we build the necessary infrastructure and team to assume their large portfolio, which represents the remaining 60% of our assets under management.

      *In accordance with UPP’s SIPP and agreed-upon terms

  • Year One - Learning, Exploring, Building
    • Our ‘Year One’ is about learning and building, all with an eye to delivering continuity and stability to our members.

      Moving into Fall 2021, we will begin setting our strategic investment objectives – with pension security and responsible investing at the core - along with a clear plan and measurable targets and timelines to achieve our vision. This requires getting to know our portfolio in more detail, growing our internal and external resources and continuing our dialogue with our members.

      This work is underway and will continue into Spring 2022, when we begin to directly manage the pension funds from the University of Toronto. We will be transparent in our process and progress all along the way.

Among many other things, we will:

  • Hire our first Chief Investment Officer
  • Define our initial investment strategy, with pension security and responsible investment at its core, along with associated targets, metrics and timelines
  • Set our target total fund asset mix and a clear path toward it
  • Build our initial enterprise risk management and mitigation framework

As a new organization, our investment strategy is not a decision we’ll only make once. It’s an approach that we will continually revisit and evolve as we build and grow, and as the world around us changes.

In developing our investment strategy, we will draw on the decades of experience of our predecessor plans, as well as our expert board and leadership team representing Canada’s top voices in the pension and investment sector, led by our CEO, Barbara Zvan – a Canadian authority on pension risk management and an internationally-recognized leader on sustainable finance.

Barbara Zvan

“Our goal is a dynamic total fund strategy that meets our long-term pension funding needs while evolving with – and positively impacting – the changing world around us. Sustainable pension security is our bottom line.” – Barbara Zvan, President & CEO

Responsible Investing

Find out how we’re preparing for and influencing the future.

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Our Initial Investment Policies

Read our initial Statement of Investment Policies & Procedures (SIPP) and other Investment Policies

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