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MARK BLINCH/Reuters

Canada's major public sector pension plans have continued to swap top executives as André Bourbonnais leaves the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board to become chief executive officer of the federal government's largest employee pension plan.

The Public Sector Pension Investment Board said Mr. Bourbonnais has been appointed CEO effective March 30, replacing departed CEO Gordon Fyfe. PSP Investments manages $100-billion of pension assets for federal civil servants, including members of the Canadian Forces and the RCMP.

PSP has been searching for a new CEO with global investment experience since Mr. Fyfe left last June to become CEO of British Columbia Investment Management Corp., B.C.'s largest public sector pension manager. In the interim, PSP has been headed by executive vice-president John Valentini.

Mr. Bourbonnais joined CPPIB in 2006 and most recently headed its private investments division, overseeing a $65-billion portfolio of private equity, infrastructure and other investments.

Prior to CPPIB, he worked in a variety of investment and management roles, including managing private equity portfolios for the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec. He began his career as a lawyer at Stikeman Elliott LLP.

PSP chair Michael Mueller said Mr. Bourbonnais had "the ideal combination" of leadership experience, international industry knowledge and proven portfolio management skills to help PSP become a more global investor.

"We are confident he is the right person to lead PSP Investments into its next phase of evolution, which involves increasingly global activities and sustained growth," he said in a statement.

Mr. Bourbonnais said he is looking forward to building on PSP's reputation as a global pension investment manager "and to continue generating strong long-term investment performance for our pension plans."

PSP earned a strong 16 per cent return in its last fiscal year, ended March 31, 2014, and said it has earned an after-inflation return of 5.2 per cent annually over the past 10 years, well above the 4.3-per-cent annualized return that the Chief Actuary of Canada estimates is necessary to fund obligations for federal pension plans. PSP is forecast to grow to over $200-billion in assets by 2024.

CPPIB chief executive officer Mark Wiseman said Mr. Bourbonnais was instrumental in building CPPIB's private investments department "into a sophisticated global investment team" with over 200 professionals.

"I look forward to collaborating with him and his new colleagues on many matters of mutual interest," Mr. Wiseman said in a statement Tuesday.

CPPIB announced it has appointed Mark Jenkins to replace Mr. Bourbonnais as senior managing director and global head of private investments. The position includes overseeing investments in direct private equity, infrastructure and natural resources.

Mr. Jenkins joined CPPIB in 2008 and most recently was managing director overseeing direct private equity, principal credit investments and natural resources investment programs. He was previously managing director for Barclays Capital in New York.

Pierre Lavallee has been appointed to a new position at CPPIB of senior managing director and global head of investment partnerships, focused on broadening relationships with external managers and expanding direct private equity investments in Asia.