Canadian Pension Board Shakes Up Leadership

Five new executives appointed as system gets into emerging markets.

The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), which oversees the nation’s retirement system that is equivalent to Social Security in the US, will add new division heads in June following several recent departures. This marks the plan’s new focus on, among other things, emerging markets.

Among the promotions is John Graham, who will lead the credit investments team for the C$337 billion ($262 billion) fund. Graham, who has been with the fund for a decade, will run the principal credit investments, private real estate debt, and the recently created public credit departments.

As for the emerging markets side of the Canadian pension’s investment staff, Suyi Kim will now head the Asia Pacific division. Kim joined system in 2006, helped establish the fund’s Hong Kong office, and ran its private equity Asia business.

Leading the active fundamental equities, relationship investments, thematic investing, and sustainable investing departments as the new global head of active equities is Deborah Orida, who joined the pension system in 2009 and was most recently the head of the private equity Asia wing.

As global head of capital markets and factor investing, Poul Winslow will oversee the global capital markets, quantitative equities, external portfolio management, cash and liquidity, and strategic tilting groups. The previous head of thematic investing and external portfolio management, Winslow also joined the fund in 2009.

Shane Feeney, the board’s current global head of private investments, has been moved to global head of private equity. Feeney will oversee the direct private equity, funds, secondaries and co-investments, and private equity Asia units.

In addition to these appointments, the board also announced that Pierre Lavallée, global head of investment partnerships, will be leaving May 2 after six years with the fund.

Earlier in the year, executives Nick Zelenczuk, Eric Wetlaufer, and Graeme Eadie announced their May 31 departures, allowing for the fund to revamp its senior management staff.

Rather than replace the exiting executives directly, the Canadian pension board’s focus is instead set on emerging markets, as per a news release. According to the plan’s 2017 annual report, emerging market investments accounted for only 7.5% of the portfolio.

The fund reports that it is also repositioning the chief operating officer role, renaming the title to chief technology and data officer. An announcement regarding the decision will be made at a later date.

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