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Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System, or OMERS, has named capital markets head Ralph Berg as its next chief investment officer, succeeding Satish Rai.

Mr. Berg starts as CIO on April 1 after two years as global head of OMERS Capital Markets, where he oversaw the public-market investments that make up more than half of investment assets at the pension plan.

In April, Mr. Rai will move to an advisory role and plans to retire from OMERS late in 2024. He has been CIO since 2018 and also led OMERS’ capital markets arm during his eight years at the pension plan, while helping guide its expansion into Asian markets. He was previously CIO at TD Asset Management, a division of Toronto-Dominion Bank.

Mr. Berg has been at OMERS since 2013. He joined the pension plan as global head of its infrastructure arm after a career in banking at Credit Suisse Group AG and Deutsche Bank AG.

“Ralph is a proven investor and a seasoned executive,” OMERS chief executive officer Blake Hutcheson said in a news release.

Mr. Berg’s successor as head of capital markets has yet to be announced.

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OMERS had $119.5-billion of assets as of June 30 last year. Over Mr. Rai’s tenure as CIO, it has shifted more of its assets from public to private markets, which helped OMERS post steady results in the first half of last year, losing only 0.4 per cent despite difficult market conditions.

Two volatile years in the COVID-19 pandemic included an 2.7-per-cent loss in 2020 – when OMERS marked down real estate and private equity holdings that were affected by strict public-health measures – and a rebound in 2021, in which the plan’s assets gained 15.7 per cent.

As Mr. Rai prepares to step down, Mr. Hutcheson said: “I look forward to his continued commitment and counsel” in his advisory role.

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