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Investments

Category: Governance
Number: GOV-090-040
Audience: All University employees
Issued: May 08, 2014
Revised: May 03, 2019
Owner(s): AVP (Finance)
Approved by: Board of Governors
Contact: Associate Vice-President (Finance) - 306-585-4171

Introduction

This policy establishes approval authority for the purchase of investments.

The Board of Governors (Board), empowered by Section 6 of The University of Regina Act, may, on behalf of the University:

(a) invest any of its money in any security or class of securities authorized for the investment of moneys in the general revenue fund pursuant to The Financial Administration Act, 1993;

(b) dispose of the investments in any manner, on any terms and in any amount that the university considers expedient.

Policy

There are three separate and distinct types of funds at the University which are used for investment purposes.

Pension Funds

The University has two pension plans for its employees. Oversight of the University of Regina Academic and Administrative Pension Plan is provided by the Academic and Administrative Benefits Committee (AABC) and oversight of the University of Regina Non-Academic Pension Plan is provided by the Non-Academic Benefits Committee (NABC). The AABC and NABC work with actuaries, investment advisors and investment managers to manage the assets of the pension plans in accordance with the Statement of Investment Policies and Goals (SIP&G) for each plan. The AABC and NABC are subcommittees of the Finance and Facilities Committee of the Board of Governors.  Investment policies are recommended to the Finance & Facilities Committee by the AABC and NABC and approved by the Board of Governors.

Endowment and Trust Funds

The University has an Endowment and Trust Fund in which it maintains endowed funds from donors for the purpose of generating scholarships and for funding other academic endeavours. The endowment funds are invested in long term investments.  Oversight of the University of Regina Endowment and Trust Fund is provided by the Trust & Endowment Committee (TEC). The TEC works with actuaries, investment advisors and investment managers to manage the assets of the Endowment and Trust Fund in accordance with the Statement of Investment Policies and Goals (SIP&G) for the Endowment and Trust Fund.  The TEC is a subcommittee of the Finance and Facilities Committee of the Board of Governors. Investment policies are recommended to the Finance & Facilities Committee by the TEC and approved by the Board of Governors.

Operational Funds

In the normal course of operations, the University has operational cash flow that is not necessary to pay for current expenses until sometime in the future. The cash flow typically is restricted regarding what the funds must be spent on at some future date.

The amount of surplus operational cash flow is monitored by Financial Services. This cash flow is further categorized as being needed within the next one year or less (short term operational funds) or not being required until at least one year in the future (long term operational funds).

The objectives in investing surplus operational cash flow is to maximize investment income to fund University operations while simultaneously minimizing the risk of capital loss on the investment and maintaining adequate liquidity for operational cash requirements. These opposing objectives need to be balanced in relation to the nature of the cash flow being invested. Capital preservation and maintaining adequate liquidity is more important for short term operational funds while maximizing investment income is more important for long term operational funds. 

Short term operational funds may only be invested in fixed income based investments with little or no possibility of capital loss such as:

  • Investments backed by any Schedule I or Schedule II bank.  This would include investments such as overnight accounts, term deposits, mortgage notes, banker’s acceptances, etc.
  • Government of Canada Treasury Bills
  • Quasi-governmental agency short term paper, which is guaranteed by the Federal Government of Canada or by a Provincial Government of Canada. This would include agencies such as CMHC Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, Farm Credit Canada, Canadian Wheat Board, etc.
  • Exchange traded funds (ETF’s), mutual funds or similar equity arrangement where the underlying assets are short term bonds or similar fixed income investment vehicle.

Investments in any short term corporate commercial paper or alternative short term investment vehicles may be made with the prior approval of the Vice-President (Administration).

Long term operational funds may be invested in fixed income and equity based investments to maximize long term investment returns while minimizing the risk of capital loss. Permissible investments would include all investments listed above for short term operational funds as well as any investment approved in the Statement of Investment Policies & Goals for the Endowment and Trust Fund.

The Board delegates the authority to purchase investments using operational funds to the Vice-President (Administration) who may delegate any part of such authority to the Associate Vice-President (Finance) or other employees in the University’s Financial Services unit.

Consequences for Noncompliance

An employee who fails to comply with this policy may be subject to disciplinary action under the applicable collective agreement, employment contract, University policy, or law.

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