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The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board has created a new position, chief investment officer, and filled it with Edwin Cass, its global head of real assets.

In a statement, CPPIB chief executive Mark Machin said the fund manager decided to establish the job because it’s on track to have more than $1-trillion in assets by 2033, up from the current $434-billion. The growth will come in part from the contributions that will flow in to support the enhanced Canada Pension Plan benefits introduced in 2019. “The time is right in CPP Investments' evolution to create a dedicated, fit-for-purpose, chief investment officer role.”

Other pension plans with far less money to manage already have someone in such a role. The Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan has had one since its 1990 founding; today, all investment department heads report to CIO Ziad Hindo. The Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System has used the title at times since the early 2000s, but has sometimes split the role among multiple executives; Satish Rai has held the job since 2018 and investment department heads report to him.

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At CPPIB, investment department heads with the senior managing director title will continue to report directly to Mr. Machin.

CPPIB said Mr. Cass will be responsible for capital allocation between investment programs, medium- and near-term portfolio guidance and balance sheet management. He’s been with CPPIB since 2008 and served as chief investment strategist from 2014 to 2017.

CPPIB also said Deborah Orida, currently global head of active equities, will replace Mr. Cass atop the real assets department. The pension manager said it will announce a new head of equities “after an internal selection process.”

Mr. Cass made more than $4-million in total compensation in the fiscal year ended March 31, according to CPPIB’s annual report.

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