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File photo of a sign in the office of the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan.Matthew Sherwood/The Globe and Mail

An experienced executive of the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan is preparing to retire.

Neil Petroff, chief investment officer and executive vice president, will leave the pension fund on June 1.

A lot of institutional knowledge will leave with Mr. Petroff, who joined Teachers in 1993 and was promoted to vice-president in 1995. During his tenure, he has overseen many aspects of the investment business at Teachers as a member of the executive team, including fixed-income, alternative investments and tactical asset allocation.

On January 1, 2009, Mr. Petroff took over as CIO – a position he had been groomed for – as 18-year Teachers veteran Robert Bertram retired. The transition was so smooth that it was known internally months before the change in leadership was made public. At the time, the move was said to reflect Teachers' custom of "cultivating its talent internally."

With Mr. Petroff retiring, Teachers said that an "internal and external search will be undertaken for a successor."

Ron Mock, chief executive of Teachers, said in a statement that the investment team grew globally under Mr. Petroff's leadership, and "cemented our brand internationally."

"I've been working closely with our CEO Ron Mock and the investment team on the development of a new investment strategy over the past several months," Mr. Petroff said in a statement. "This is the ideal time for my retirement, and for the next generation of investment professionals to move our new strategy forward."

A spokesperson for teachers said Mr. Petroff has been leading the pension plan's global investment strategy. Further details of the strategy have not been made public, though Teachers will release its annual return results Tuesday.

Before joining Teachers, Mr. Petroff gained investment experience at Bank of Nova Scotia. He also worked at Guaranty Trust and Royal Trustco, both of which were later purchased by banks.

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