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.

RESPONSIBLE INVESTING

hand in a field of wheatIn February 2017, CI Investments finalized a Responsible Investment Policy that addresses the integration of environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) factors into its investment decision-making process. As part of this initiative, CI Investments became a signatory to the United Nations-supported Principles for Responsible Investing (UNPRI).

CI Investments is dedicated to achieving the best possible risk-adjusted returns for our funds and believes that responsible investing can play an important role in achieving that goal. CI Investments’ in-house portfolio management teams, which include Signature Global Asset Management, Cambridge Global Asset Management, Harbour Advisors, and CI Multi-Asset Management, are implementing the principles.

The Responsible Investment Policy does not specifically prohibit our portfolio managers from investing in any particular company or sector – with one exception. In recognition of the broad-based international consensus concerning anti-personnel landmines and cluster munitions, CI Investments will not knowingly directly invest in companies associated with the production, use or distribution of anti-personnel land mines or cluster munitions. This prohibition applies to actively managed funds where CI Investments directly controls the investment strategy of the funds.

ENVIRONMENT

hand pouring water onto a sproutCI has significantly reduced the amount of printed materials in its client communications and we continue to pursue opportunities to further reduce the volume of paper we use. These initiatives include the electronic delivery of statements, transaction confirmations and tax documents, and approximately 20% of CI Investments and Assante clients who receive these documents have opted for this service. In another example, CI Investments’ fund disclosure documents (financial statements and management reports of fund performance) are sent only to those clients who have requested a paper copy.

CI Financial utilizes the notice and access mechanism which allows CI to post electronic versions of proxy-related materials online, rather than mailing paper copies of such materials to its shareholders.

CI promotes recycling throughout its operations. In co-operation with building management and suppliers, we recycle waste paper, plastics and other materials, including computers, monitors and other electronic equipment, and the one-use capsules used in our coffee machines. In 2016, we recycled over 237,000 capsules, resulting in the recovery of 483 kilograms of aluminum. We also switched to paper coffee cups that are both recyclable and compostable.

In 2016, CI undertook a retrofit program in which we are replacing lightbulbs throughout our offices with more energy-efficient LED lights.

Also in 2016, CI established the CI Green Committee, an employee group with a mandate to foster a more sustainable workplace through initiatives in the areas of waste reduction, energy use, transportation and education. Accomplishments during the year included a survey of employees about their environmental concerns, the implementation of a used battery collection program, and an end to the purchase of single-use plastic water bottles for use by staff.

EMPLOYEE DEVELOPMENT

Businessman holding silhouettesCI provides extensive training and learning opportunities to its employees, as well as supporting employees who pursue education and training on their own initiative.

Our training initiatives include the Management Development Program, which provides front-line managers with an assessment, development plan, and a core curriculum of six courses that support CI’s management competencies. Online refresher courses are also available to these employees.

To assist senior managers in supporting their front-line managers, CI provides a program called Reinforcing Leadership Development.

We continue to expand our Women’s Mentorship Program, which is designed to identify and foster future leadership potential as well as support the exchange of valuable information and experiences among the mentors and their mentees. The program also provides an important opportunity for networking and continuing education to a large group of female employees. Since its launch in 2012 to the end of the 2016, the program has matched 59 women employees with mentors. For 2017, 26 new mentees and 14 new mentors were added to the program.

To build on the success of that program, CI launched a broader-based mentoring program in 2017 that is available to both men and women.

CI has received Great Place to Work® Certification, which recognizes organizations with high-performing workplace cultures. Certification is based on an independent and credible evaluation methodology that takes actual employee feedback into account.

To recognize the contributions of long-serving employees, CI introduced the Service Recognition Program in 2016. Employees are awarded “milestone days” – additional paid time off – once they reach certain anniversaries of employment with the company.

We provide opportunities for students to gain experience and exposure to the working world. CI maintains a strong summer student program and hired over 60 students for the summer of 2016. Activities included an “innovation challenge” in which the students were allotted time to work in teams on business cases. The student teams presented their recommendations to senior executives at the end of the summer. CI also has a formal Grade Nine Take Your Kids to Work Day program.

COMMUNITY SUPPORT

stack of hands showing unityCI provides extensive support to Canadian charitable organizations. In 2016, CI directly donated $202,000 to causes that included the OneWalk to Conquer Cancer, Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, SickKids Foundation, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, KidSport Ontario, Camp Quality Canada, and Motionball.

Our employees enthusiastically devote their time to numerous worthy causes, with company support. In addition to the charities noted above, CI employees raised money for organizations that included the Canadian Red Cross (Alberta wildfire relief), Camp Oochigeas, the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, Operation Christmas Child, and Unicef (Syrian crisis).

CI donated another $283,000 in 2016 to charities supported by our business partners, who include advisors working across Canada.

In 2017, CI launched the Ray Day Program, in which eligible employees are allowed to use one workday per year to volunteer at a registered charity. The program is named in honour of the late G. Raymond Chang, who was known for his generosity and philanthropy. Mr. Chang served as CEO and Chairman during his three decades at CI.

CI Financial also announced in 2017 a $500,000 donation to the Lazaridis School of Business and Economics at Wilfrid Laurier University. This investment will fund the construction and operation of the CI Financial Finance Lab, which will provide Laurier students with hands-on experience in securities analysis.

Last updated: December 2017