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Corporate Social Responsibility


CI Financial strives to operate with responsibility and integrity, from the management of our funds to the conduct of all aspects of our business. We are committed to treating our employees and business partners with respect and consideration, to supporting communities across Canada, and to reducing our impact on the environment. This section highlights some of CI's efforts and achievements in these areas. Please see the Corporate Governance section for details of our governance policies.

Sustainalytics logo

Each year, CI is rated on its environment, social and governance performance by various research firms. In 2018, CI was once again rated as an outperformer in the area of governance within the diversified financials sector group by research firm Sustainalytics.

Responsible Investing

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  • As a signatory to the United Nations-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (UNPRI), CI Investments believes that responsible investing plays a role in achieving the best possible risk-adjusted returns for our funds.
  • CI Investments has a formal Responsible Investment Policy that addresses the integration of environmental, social, governance (ESG) factors into the investment decision-making process. While CI Investments does not normally exclude specific sectors or companies from investment, there is an exception. In recognition of the prohibitions contained within the United Nations Anti-Personnel Landmines Convention and the United Nations Convention on Cluster Munitions, CI Investments will not knowingly directly invest in companies associated with the production, use or distribution of such weapons. This restriction applies to all actively managed funds where CI Investments directly controls the investment strategy of the fund, including those that are sub-advised.
  • In early 2019, CI Investments expanded our responsible investment program to include our Sentry Investment Management team, as well as First Asset Investment Management. With four in-house teams – Signature Global Asset Management, Cambridge Global Asset Management, Harbour Advisors and CI Multi-Asset Management – already following responsible investing principles, approximately 70% of CI Investments’ assets under management are now covered by our Responsible Investment Policy.

Responsible Investing at CI

Core Components, Implementation, Process

Employee Development

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  • CI provides extensive training and learning opportunities to its employees, and supports those who pursue education and training on their own initiative. We invested over $500,000 in employee development and training in 2018.
  • Our Women’s Mentoring Program sees high-potential women paired with a senior leader for 18 months. It boasts over 90 mentee graduates since inception, and has been profiled as an industry best practice; our Women’s Mentoring Alumni Program continues the development of these mentees. MentorCity, an additional mentoring program that is open to men and women, sees CI mentors creating online profiles so that mentees can search and request a mentor with competency strengths aligned to their development interest.
  • Our training initiatives give employees access to a variety of tools and resources to support skill development, including eLearning courses and classroom-based workshops. One example is our Ready to Lead Management Development Program, which has over 155 graduates since 2014. Once that program is completed, graduates have access to other opportunities to build on the foundation of their leadership skills, including the Leading with Confidence program for frontline managers.
  • CI is also committed to the health and well-being of our employees. Our Wellness Program offers employees a range of activities, including individual health assessments with a nutritionist, lunch-time workout classes, and “Lunch and Learn” sessions focused on wellness in the workplace.
  • We continue to celebrate the contributions of long-serving employees through the CI Service Recognition Program. Employees are awarded “milestone days,” which are additional paid days off that are given out when they reach certain employment anniversaries with the company.
  • We provide opportunities for students to gain experience and exposure to the working world through our Summer Student Program. In 2018, we hired over 65 summer students, and 5% of our new full-time hires were former participants in our Summer Student Program.
  • 50 high school students participated in our Take Our Kids to Work Day, where we arranged mock interviews and had an Employee Financial Services Representative teach a class on saving money.
  • We also hired over 35 co-op students as part of our partnerships with the University of Waterloo, Wilfrid Laurier University, and the University of Toronto.
  • Over $500K invested in employee development and training
  • Over 90 mentor/mentee relationships
  • Over 65 summer students hired
  • Over 50 high school students participated in Take Our Kids to Work Day

Community Support

CI is committed to supporting communities across Canada and to being a good corporate citizen. In 2018, we contributed over $500,000 through company and employee donations.

We also proudly continued with our Ray Day Program, which allows CI employees to dedicate one work day of the year to volunteer and support a cause of their choice. This program was named in memory of CI’s former Chairman and CEO Ray Chang, who was well-known for his commitment to philanthropy.

In 2018, hundreds of employees used their Ray Day to give back to the community. Some of the charitable events employees have allocated their Ray Day towards include: The Yonge Street Mission, Manitoba Underdogs Rescue, Nature Conservancy of Canada, SickKids Foundation, and Habitat for Humanity. Find out more about how CI employees are giving back in “Employee Spotlight” sections of this year’s Annual Report.

CI was a Premium Sponsor of SickKids GetLoud, a campaign to help build a new SickKids hospital and raised over $78,000 from employees across the company, making us the event’s top external employee donor. Our employees held bake sales, sports competitions, and a special wine tasting and silent auction event to help raise funds. Many employees and their families also attended the five-kilometre fundraising walk in downtown Toronto.

CI served as a Platinum Sponsor of “Toronto Taste”, Second Harvest’s annual event that raised over $925,000 in 2018. Throughout the year, employees also fundraised and donated over $3,800, enough money to provide more than 7,600 meals to those in need.

CI is proud to partner with Wilfrid Laurier University in preparing Canada’s next generation of financial managers, and to provide support for the “Building Canada’s Best Business School” fundraising campaign. In 2018, CI donated $50,000 as part of a larger $500,000 commitment to supporting the finance program at the Lazaridis School of Business and Economics and to establishing the CI Financial Finance Lab.

CI continued to support the Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada (CAF), donating a total of $25,000 in post-secondary scholarships in 2018. These scholarships were funded by donations from CI’s leadership team and targeted young people who are living in, or have recently left, the care of the child welfare system. In addition to our scholarship program, CI also hired four summer students associated with CAF in 2018, giving them the opportunity to gain work experience and prepare for a bright future.

In 2018, CI was proud to donate $12,000 to the Arthritis Society and have been a supporter of the organization since 2008. These funds will contribute to cutting-edge research, proactive advocacy and innovative solutions that will deliver better health outcomes for people affected by arthritis.

Environmental Sustainability

Hand pouring water onto a sprout

Paper Consumption

  • In 2018, CI continued the delivery of electronic client materials and offered online availability of our proxy materials.
  • We continued to use paper certified under the Sustainable Forestry Initiative. This standard sets mandatory practice requirements for the responsible procurement of all fibre sourced directly from forests.

Waste Reduction

  • CI continued to recycle paper, plastics and office equipment in 2018:
    • Recycled over 50,000 single-use coffee and tea capsules, resulting in the recovery of over 100 kilograms of aluminum.
  • In 2018, CI switched from providing staff with single-use coffee and tea capsules to compostable pouches.

CI Green Committee

The committee is a group of committed and enthusiastic employees with a shared vision of making CI a more sustainable workplace. The committee had several noteworthy accomplishments in 2018:

  • Through a battery collection program, over 85 pounds of batteries were diverted from landfills.
  • CI employees once again competed in a “Waste Free Challenge” to see who could bring in lunches with the least amount of waste.
  • The “CI Swap Day” allowed employees to exchange their used items and promote the reuse of goods.


  • Principles for Responsible Investment logo
  • Responsible Investment Association logo
  • Signatory to the UNPRI
    The United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (UNPRI) is the world's leading proponent of responsible investment. It encourages investors to use responsible investment to enhance returns and better manage risks.
  • Associate Member of the RIA
    The Responsible Investment Association (RIA) is Canada's membership association for responsible investment. RIA members believe that the integration of environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into the selection and management of investments can provide superior risk-adjusted returns while contributing to positive societal change.

Last updated: May 2019