Blake Hutcheson has opened his first full year as chief executive of the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System with a management restructuring of its senior leadership team that will swap out two investment-department heads.
OMERS said Ralph Berg, currently its global head of infrastructure, will become global head of capital markets, a position that oversees roughly 55 per cent of the pension manager’s portfolio. Mr. Berg, a former Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse banker who joined OMERS’ infrastructure group in 2013, replaces Ken Miner, who will retire April 1.
Annesley Wallace, who has been chief pension officer for about a year, will replace Mr. Berg as global head of infrastructure. Ms. Wallace worked for engineering giant SNC-Lavalin before joining OMERS Infrastructure in 2012. In an interview, she said her return to the infrastructure role is “in a lot of ways, a lot like going home.”
Both Mr. Berg and Ms. Wallace will have executive vice-president titles and report to Satish Rai, OMERS’ chief investment officer.
The $109-billion plan, which serves 1,000 employers in Ontario and has nearly 500,000 active and retired members, was founded in 1962 and was a pioneer of the “Canadian model” of independent public-pension-plan management and governance.
OMERS will eliminate the chief pension officer job, which Mr. Hutcheson previously held, and place the responsibilities for member services and communications under chief operating officer Bob Aziz.
Mr. Hutcheson became OMERS CEO last July 1, replacing retiring CEO Michael Latimer. In an internal memo Thursday, Mr. Hutcheson said his new 17-member OMERS executive leadership team will replace a small group of executives that had been known for years as the senior executive team.
The new group “is a larger, more inclusive team representing virtually every aspect of our enterprise, and it brings more depth, diversity, experience, global perspective and cross-enterprise reach to the most senior leadership team at OMERS,” Mr. Hutcheson wrote.
“It has always been my goal to involve a bigger cross-section of leaders on my team. Doing so provides more leaders with full exposure to the complexity of OMERS, opens up meaningful opportunities for growth and succession, and provides a better feedback loop for both co-ordinating and evolving every corner of our enterprise.”
Mr. Hutcheson said Monique Allen, executive vice-president of data and technology; Celine Chiovitti, senior vice-president, pension & corporate services; Chris Morley, vice-president, government relations and Shelagh Paul, senior vice-president, global communications, will join the new leadership team.
From OMERS investment business, Anca Drexler, executive vice-president and head of total portfolio management; Michael Graham and Michael Turner will join the new leadership team.
Michael Block will leave his role of senior vice-president, strategy & asset liability management to become a senior managing director, capital markets, and report to Mr. Berg. Chief financial officer Jonathan Simmons will take on additional responsibilities as chief financial and strategy officer, overseeing the strategy and asset liability management group.
Five other executives listed as OMERS “leadership” on the fund’s website – a larger group than the previous, core senior executive team – remain with the organization: chief medical officer James Aw; Reena Carter, executive vice-president, investment finance & valuations; Ann Clavelle, senior vice-president, human resources; Anne Soh, vice-president, actuarial services & plan actuary; and Jenny Tsouvalis, a senior vice-president for investment reporting and operations.
Your time is valuable. Have the Top Business Headlines newsletter conveniently delivered to your inbox in the morning or evening. Sign up today.