Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan is tapping two leaders from inside the fund to chart the course for its $189.5-billion portfolio.
Ziad Hindo will step into the role of chief investment officer to oversee the fund’s overall investment direction, as well as the development of Teachers external relationships. Mr. Hindo joined the fund in 2000 and was most recently head of the capital markets group.
Teachers also said on Tuesday that Jo Taylor, a veteran investor with private equity and infrastructure expertise, is being promoted to the newly created role of executive managing director of global development. Mr. Taylor, who joined the pension fund in 2012 and has been based in London, was formerly responsible for international investment operations and will now move to Toronto to take on the new role.
Teachers said these two men will work together to “create a new blueprint for the pension plan’s international investment strategy and presence.” This collaborative approach places an emphasis on both public and private market investment activities, given Mr. Hindo and Mr. Taylor’s different areas of experience. Both will report to chief executive officer Ron Mock.
These appointments come after a months-long process where Teachers sought to replace former CIO Bjarne Graven Larsen. Mr. Graven Larsen was new to the Canadian pension landscape when he was appointed in 2016, but had already held the CIO title at ATP, the largest Danish pension fund. Mr. Graven Larsen abruptly left Teachers in April, attributing his exit to personal reasons – namely that his family was unhappy in Canada.
This was a challenge for Mr. Mock, who had made a big bet on an outsider to fill the role. He took over the position of interim CIO while the search for a replacement was conducted. Mr. Mock said at the time that the global process of hiring and managing talented professionals was top of mind.
“Supported by their world-class teams, I am confident that Ziad and Jo will be very successful in advancing our investment strategy using a total fund approach and global mindset,” Mr. Mock said in a statement on Tuesday.
In their hunt for a new CIO, Mr. Mock and the Teachers’ board sought to stabilize the fund by narrowing down their selection process to internal candidates, according to sources familiar with the process. Along with Mr. Taylor and Mr. Hindo, the pension plan also considered other candidates such as Jane Rowe, the longtime head of private capital, according to those people.
Ms. Rowe’s private-capital team has also been reorganizing. Long-time managing directors Steve Faraone and Mike Murray are preparing to leave the fund at the end of the month. They are set to launch a small private-equity fund in Toronto and have already secured some initial capital. In a note to staff, Ms. Rowe also adjusted her team, appointing several new directors.
Teachers isn’t the only large Canadian pension plan shuffling its leadership. Several of the largest funds in the country are in the process of renewing their leadership teams – including introducing new investment heads – and there have been a series of notable exits and new promotions in recent months.