Silence of the plans: Why it’s so rare for pensions and institutions to launch Canadian securities class actions

With regulators in Canada looking to private enforcement to pick up the slack when they can’t prosecute, it’s somewhat surprising that large Canadian pension funds rarely appear as the lead plaintiffs in domestic class actions, particularly securities cases.
That’s certainly not the case south of the border, where U.S. pension funds appear as lead plaintiffs much more frequently.
“Pension funds in the U.S., especially CalPERS, are more activist and like to be the face of the class action,” says Mitch Frazer of Torys LLP in Toronto.
What’s even more curious, however, is that large Canadian pension funds have appeared as lead plaintiffs in U.S. class actions with some regularity.
According to statistics compiled by NERA Economic Consulting, Canadian funds have been one of the lead plaintiffs in at least 15 settled or dismissed U.S. class actions between 1998 and 2014. (Data for unresolved cases is …