Later this year, the OMERS defined benefit pension plan will be celebrating 60 years of operations. The plan’s basic focus has not changed in six decades – that is, investing prudently on behalf of our more than 541,000 members. While the “for whom” remains substantially the same, the “how” of what investments we make to generate retirement income for our members definitely has changed over the years.
Take the OMERS Leveraged Finance Team. We specialize in sub-investment grade corporate credit and alternative investments in North America and Europe. Our team, established in 2015, consists of experienced professionals working from Toronto, New York and London. (I lead our North American efforts). On behalf of OMERS, we invest directly across traded and non-traded markets, including: Leveraged Loans, High Yield Bonds, Private Credit, Alternative Investments, Funds, ETFs, Index Products and Credit Derivatives.
Our goal is to provide OMERS with a consistent stream of income on its invested capital and mitigate risk of permanent impairment through active portfolio management. We’ve delivered consistent positive returns since our inception.
Our focus on active portfolio management emphasizes investment selection, risk mitigation, and actively capitalizing on opportunities presented by the market and credit cycle. Our investment team performs detailed due diligence and analysis on each individual investment opportunity, to ensure it meets our high standards of business stability, balance sheet sustainability and risk-adjusted returns. We leverage colleagues in other OMERS investment teams, and a handful of top-tier external strategic partners to source investments and gain insights during the due diligence process.
We employ a peer-review process to respectfully share perspectives on potential investment opportunities. Once an investment is made, we actively monitor it – if we observe a material negative deviation against our original investment thesis, we take steps to mitigate the risk of loss, including reducing the position. We apply discipline in sizing each investment to actively drive portfolio diversity and further reduce the risk of an idiosyncratic loss. We leverage our organization’s deep pool of knowledge, experience, and perspectives in macro-economic and market outlook to ensure the portfolio is best positioned to benefit from changes to in a dynamic market environment.
Our diverse team of individuals share a passion for investing in the Leveraged Finance credit markets and delivering on strong, consistent performance; our culture is built around supporting each other in working towards that goal. We deeply respect the responsibility that comes with managing our members’ current and future retirement income; we've committed to building not only a portfolio, but a team that delivers on that responsibility.