2016 was a year of accomplishment and success for OPTrust. First and foremost, the Plan continues to be fully funded, which is the truest measure of success for a pension plan.
The year saw OPTrust take on a greater leadership role in the pension industry, advocating for solutions to enhance retirement income security for all. In November, it held the OPTrust Global Pension Leadership Summit, an immensely successful conference which brought together the world's leading pension minds, investors, policy-makers and academics to discuss long-term investment challenges and opportunities for collaboration.
The many accomplishments of the organization were recognized externally as CEO Hugh O'Reilly received the 2016 Industry Leadership Award from Benefits Canada's Workplace Benefits Awards in October.
At OPTrust we are proud of our accomplishments, but recognize that the challenges the pension industry faces are not going away.
As such, 2016 was also a year of looking to the future. In particular, the Board considered and approved two major organizational projects: the update of OPTrust's pension administration system, and the internalization of the majority of the Plan's public market assets and strategies.
We were pleased and honoured to assume the roles of Chair and Vice-Chair in November and thank outgoing Chair Michael Grimaldi for his leadership and his continuing service to OPTrust as a Trustee. We also thank Ron Langer, an OPSEU appointee, who stepped down from the Board in September after serving seven years as a Trustee. This summer, we welcomed two Trustees: Giulia Volpe, appointed by OPSEU in July and Alan Hibben, appointed by the Government of Ontario in June.
As Trustees, we are keenly aware of the responsibility we have to our members and retirees who count on OPTrust for their financial future. Workplace pensions matter. Everyone at OPTrust, from Trustees to staff, is focused on ensuring that the Plan's members receive the pensions they are counting on, and that workplace pensions remain strong and sustainable for the long term.
We wish to express our thanks to each person who works at OPTrust and our fellow Trustees for the dedication they demonstrated in 2016 to those ideals. We look forward to continuing to build on that work in 2017.