Ontario Investment Office Names O’Dette First CIO

Executive tasked with leading Ontario Investment Office, which helps businesses looking to invest and expand in the province.

Allan O’Dette, an experienced business executive and entrepreneur, has been named Ontario’s first Chief Investment Officer.

O’Dette has extensive experience in the private sector and will be leading the recently established Ontario Investment Office (OIO). The OIO helps businesses looking to invest and expand in the province by providing tax incentives and strategic analysis. O’Dette has served on numerous public and not-for-profit boards and committees. He was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for his contributions to his community, and his philanthropic and volunteer activities.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Trent University, an MBA from the Rotman School of Business at the University of Toronto, and has an ICD.D designation.

In his new position, O’Dette will be working with emerging economic sectors, such as technology, to help support new investment and growth across the province.

O’Dette formerly was president and chief executive officer of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, which has 60,000 Ontario businesses employing 2million workers. Prior to that, he spent 25 years as an entrepreneur and executive in the biopharmaceutical industry.

Ontario uses a “one-window approach” to attract investments to the province. For example, an advanced manufacturing investment from GE Canada in Welland was made possible through a coordinated effort that is creating 220 jobs. Ontario is providing GE a conditional grant of $26.55 million through the Jobs and Prosperity Fund, leveraging an overall investment of almost $240 million.

In addition, Ontario’s Business Growth Initiative is helping to grow the economy and create jobs by promoting an innovation-based economy, helping small companies scale-up and modernizing regulations for businesses. In addition, a Jobs and Prosperity Fund is designed to attract private sector investment to Ontario, allowing the government to partner with businesses that are creating jobs, and enhancing productivity, innovation and exports.

Since January 2013, Ontario has announced 21 projects with government commitment totaling $815 million, leveraging more than $7.4 billion in private sector investment. The province is dependent on international trade; one in eight jobs in Canada is linked to global investment.

By Chuck Epstein