Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System, Toronto, returned 10.6% on its investments in 2009, compared to the -15.3% return the previous year, confirmed John Pierce, spokesman for the C$47.8 billion (US$46.3 billion) system.
Despite the gains, the system underperformed its custom benchmark by 1.5 percentage points.
The system’s five-year return was an annualized 6.6%, compared to its custom benchmark of 5.8%, according to an OMERS news release. The 10- and 20-year annualized returns were 5.2% and 8.1%, respectively, both outperforming their benchmarks of 4.5% and 7.4%, respectively.
Net investment income in 2009 was C$4.3 billion, up significantly from the 2008 net loss of C$8 billion.
OMERS’ capital markets asset class returned 11%; private equity, 13.9%; its Borealis Infrastructure unit, 10.9%; its Oxford Properties real estate business, 1.3%; and OMERS strategic investments, -1.2%.
“In early 2009, we took a prudent and disciplined approach to investing in public equities as the global equity markets remained volatile and, in our view, presented undue risk to the plan,” Michael Nobrega, OMERS president and CEO, said in the news release. “This approach ensured that we retained the flexibility to preserve capital while providing the opportunity to participate in a rebound that occurred in the equity markets later in the year. The performance of our private equity and infrastructure investments also provided very strong returns, reinforcing our decision to continue to expand our holdings in the private market asset classes.”