2016 was a year of many significant changes at UTAM. The most important of which was the creation of the Investment Committee, co-chaired by David Denison and Geoff Matus. This committee reports directly to the President of the University of Toronto, provides expert
advice to the University administration, and collaborates extensively with UTAM management staff on investment objectives and activities. We are fortunate to benefit from the insights and experience of this highly qualified group of investment experts.
Another significant change during 2016 was with respect to our responsible investing efforts. I am pleased to report that in December 2016 we became a signatory to the UN-supported Principles for Responsible Investment. In addition, during the year we became a signatory to the CDP (formerly known as the Carbon Disclosure Project) and enhanced our investment decision making process so that it more fully incorporates Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors. We are also planning to release a dedicated responsible investing report later in 2017. We are committed to being a responsible investor and will continue to look for ways to improve what we do in this regard in the years ahead.
We have always worked closely with the University and its governance bodies, but in 2016 we strengthened these relationships. In addition to regular meetings with the Investment Committee, I also meet quarterly with the University’s President, Meric Gertler, and biweekly with the University’s CFO, Sheila Brown. These regular meetings, together with ongoing dialogue and communication between meetings, helps ensure that we continue to manage the assets that we have been entrusted with according to our client’s directions.
I would like to acknowledge and thank the entire team at UTAM who work tirelessly to achieve the University’s objectives. I would also like to personally thank our Board of Directors, the Investment Committee, the Pension Committee, and the Business Board for their support and ongoing input to the Management Team at UTAM. With the benefit of the collective wisdom of all of these groups the possibilities are boundless.
Daren M. Smith, CFA
President and Chief Investment Officer