CPPIB Taps Edwin Cass as Pension Giant’s First CIO

Canadian fund also names Deborah Orida as head of real assets.

The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) has named Edwin Cass as the C$434.4 billion (US$329.9 billion) pension fund’s first CIO, effective immediately.  

Cass, who will be tasked with generating higher returns for the pension, will work closely with CEO Mark Machin and Chief Financial and Risk Officer Neil Beaumont, as well as the fund’s investment department leaders.

The fund said it created the CIO position to address the expected increase in size and scale of CPPIB over the next five years and beyond. Cass will be responsible for total fund management, including capital allocation between investment programs, long-term investment department signals, medium- and near-term portfolio guidance, and balance sheet management. The fund said its investment department leaders will continue to be responsible for portfolio strategy execution for their respective departments.

“The time is right in CPP Investments’ evolution to create a dedicated, fit-for-purpose chief investment officer role,” Machin said in a statement. “Ed is very well positioned for this role, with his considerable investment expertise, enterprise-wide knowledge, and global experience.”

Cass joined CPPIB in 2008 and was most recently the pension giant’s senior managing director and global head of real assets. He previously held senior positions at Fortress Management Group, Deutsche Bank Canada, and TD Securities. Cass earned a bachelor’s in theoretical physics from Queen’s University and a bachelor of laws degree from York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School.

Replacing Cass as head of real assets is Deborah Orida, who was most recently CPPIB’s senior managing director and global head of active equities. She will be responsible for the fund’s global real assets program, which encompasses energy and resources, infrastructure, power and renewables, real estate, and portfolio value creation.

Orida joined CPPIB in 2009 and during her tenure has held the roles of managing director, head of private equity Asia, managing director, head of relationship investments international, and senior portfolio manager, relationship investments.

“The appointment of Deborah as global head of real assets continues to demonstrate CPP Investments’ deep bench strength of proven investment leaders,” Machin said.

The fund said it will launch an internal selection process to replace Orida as global head of active equities.

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