Skip to main content

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board’s global head of private equity is leaving for a local, smaller, rival, creating an opening for one of the most prominent private equity positions in the world.

Shane Feeney is departing CPPIB for Toronto-based Northleaf Capital Partners, where he is taking on the role of global head of secondaries.

At CPPIB, Mr. Feeney was responsible for the entire private equity operation, which included everything from direct private equity investing to secondaries.

A secondary deal allows a large investor to sell its stake in either a private company or a private equity fund to another institutional investor. For many years, these positions were held for five to seven years. After that period, a private company would be taken public or sold to another private backer, and a private equity fund would sell all of its holdings and return any proceeds to its investors.

Lately, there has been a push toward secondary deals that allow large investors to enter or exit their private investments much sooner, effectively by trading them amongst each other. Late last year private equity giant Brookfield Asset Management announced a major push into secondary markets for infrastructure and private equity deals.

Northleaf currently has US$16-billion worth of capital commitments for private equity, private credit and infrastructure deals. At CPPIB, Mr. Feeney’s private equity group managed $125-billion.

His departure marks another leadership change at the Canadian pension fund since John Graham took over as chief executive officer in February. In March, the fund restructured its largest group by assets, Total Fund Management, and also parted ways with a number of managing directors, including the head of its macro strategies group and the head of financial institutions for direct private equity.

Mr. Graham, the new CEO, previously ran private credit investments for the pension fund and took over from Mark Machin, who resigned when the fund manager learned he received a COVID-19 vaccination in early February in the United Arab Emirates.

On Monday, Singapore-based Serendipity Capital announced that Mr. Machin was joining its board as a non-executive director.

Your time is valuable. Have the Top Business Headlines newsletter conveniently delivered to your inbox in the morning or evening. Sign up today.