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The Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan Board office is shown in Toronto on Sept. 28, 2021.Cole Burston/The Canadian Press

Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan has hired Pierre Cherki to lead a new, in-house real estate investing team, which is moving over from subsidiary Cadillac Fairview Corp. in January.

Earlier this year, Teachers announced a restructuring to bring its real estate operation in-house. The 37-person team will move over from Cadillac Fairview, which will continue to own, operate and develop real estate.

Mr. Cherki will be its executive managing director, real estate, Teachers announced Tuesday. He has served on Cadillac Fairview’s board since 2022 and spent most of his career at German alternative investment manager DWS Group.

At DWS, he was global head of real estate, then led the alternatives division and was a member of the company’s executive board.

Real estate makes up about 12 per cent of the Teachers investment portfolio, with assets valued at $29.3-billion as of the end of June, including Cadillac Fairview’s properties. When the pension plan announced the change in structure in June, it said that bringing real estate investing in-house – consistent with the way it manages its investments in other asset classes, such as private equity and infrastructure – should allow for more information sharing and will make it easier to co-source deals.

“Under Pierre’s leadership we plan to explore ways of effectively diversifying our portfolio by sector and stage internationally,” said Teachers chief executive officer Jo Taylor in a statement Tuesday.

Teachers manages $250-billion of assets for more than 336,000 working and retired teachers in Ontario, with investments in public markets through stocks and bonds, as well as privately owned assets.

Mr. Cherki will remain on Cadillac Fairview’s board and work closely with Sal Iacono, who took over as CEO in November, succeeding John Sullivan, the long-time head of the real estate company.

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