$1.75-million Queen’s MBA scholarship program honours retiring pension leader Jim Leech
TORONTO — To celebrate the career of retiring Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan President and CEO Jim Leech, his friends and colleagues have made donations toward a scholarship for MBA students at Queen's School of Business. With an anonymous donor agreeing to match all donations up to $1 million, the Jim Leech MBA Scholarship currently stands at $1.75 million. That makes it the largest Queen's MBA scholarship.
"Queen's School of Business is honoured to be the recipient of this generous gift in Jim's name," said David Saunders, Dean, Queen's School of Business. "It's a fitting tribute given Jim's service to Queen's, as the current Chair of the School of Business Advisory Board and incoming Queen's University Chancellor. The Jim Leech scholarship will help us attract the most promising global leaders to our MBA program."
Mr. Leech is the second CEO in Teacher's history as an independent organization, having assumed that position in 2007. Before becoming CEO, Mr. Leech was head of Teachers' Private Capital. Under his leadership, the organization became one of the world's leading private equity investors, increasing its assets to roughly $130 billion. For the past two years, Teachers' has ranked number one in the world for pension fund investment returns and for the quality of member service. Mr. Leech has also made a substantial contribution to the ongoing debate about the Canadian pension system, having this year co-authored a book on pension reform called The Third Rail: Confronting Our Pension Failures.
"We're honouring Jim because of the excellence he brought to Teachers'," said Ron Mock, Teachers' CEO-elect. "We're doing it in a way that is near to his heart – through a gift that will benefit his alma mater and more importantly, the young people who choose to study there. Jim has never lost sight of the need to give back to the community. The Queen's MBA scholarship ensures that Jim's legacy of leadership and community spirit will live on."
"This is an overwhelming and humbling honour," said Mr. Leech of the establishment of the scholarship fund in his name. "I have been involved with higher education, and with Queen's in particular, for 40 years. I am thrilled to know that Queen's students will benefit from the wonderful generosity of my friends and colleagues."
Mr. Leech received the gift at a gala retirement dinner last night in Toronto. The $1.75-million endowment will help students achieve their dreams of earning a Queen's MBA. Scholarships will be awarded on the basis of academic excellence to students entering the full-time MBA program beginning January 2015. Mr. Leech earned his MBA at Queen's in 1973.
To make a donation to the Jim Leech MBA Scholarship Fund, please visit www.givetoqueens.ca/jimleech.
About Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan
With $129.5 billion in net assets as at December 31, 2012, the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan is the largest single-profession pension plan in Canada. An independent organization, it invests the pension fund's assets and administers the pensions of 303,000 active and retired teachers in Ontario.
About Queen's School of Business
Queen's School of Business is one of the world's premier business schools—renowned for exceptional programs, outstanding faculty and research, and the quality of its graduates. Canadian executives regard Queen's as Canada's most innovative business school, offering students academic excellence and a superior overall experience. Queen's School of Business—where Canada's first Commerce program was launched in 1919—is located at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. The School also delivers programs at locations across Canada, as well in the U.S., the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and China.