Teachers’ Innovation Platform (TIP)
Accessing High Growth Opportunities at the Forefront of Innovation
TIP focuses on late-stage venture and growth equity investments in companies that use technology to disrupt incumbents and create new sectors. We seek to access significant global opportunities for investment in new businesses and sectors that are emerging as a result of unprecedented technological change.
TIP’s investments focus on minority stakes in companies that are solving challenging, high-value problems that exist in the market today. These companies not only provide a meaningful value proposition for their customers but have demonstrated a clear ability to execute and monetize their business plans. TIP’s portfolio companies demonstrate strong revenue growth, clear and attractive unit economics, and are on a sustainable pathway to profitability. We seek to invest in companies in their Series C rounds or later, where there is meaningful room to grow and support our private investments. Our mandate does not include imminent pre-IPO investments, although we pride ourselves on being long-term investors, and have the flexibility to support successful investments into and beyond an exit in the public market.
How We Invest
We organize our investment team into regional groups responsible for both transaction execution and asset management activities in:
- Senior Managing Director, Teachers' Innovation Platform
Olivia Steedman leads Teachers' Innovation Platform (TIP), which has a global mandate to invest in late-stage venture and growth equity in companies that use technology to disrupt incumbents and create new sectors.
Olivia joined Ontario Teachers' in 2002 and was a founding member and senior leader of the Infrastructure and Natural Resources group, most recently as head of both the Greenfield & Renewables and the Value Creation & Analytics teams. She was involved in a number of acquisitions and served on a number of portfolio company boards across the portfolio.
Before joining Ontario Teachers’, Olivia was an Assistant Vice-President in the project finance and privatization group at PricewaterhouseCoopers. She also practiced civil engineering at Marshall Macklin Monaghan.
A Professional Engineer and Chartered Professional Accountant, Olivia earned a B.Sc. in Civil Engineering from Queen's University and has ICD.D certification from the Institute of Corporate Directors. In 2018 she was recognized by Women's Executive Network as one of Canada's 100 Most Powerful Women.
- Senior Principal
Richard Lam is based in Toronto and leads global fund relationships for the Teachers’ Innovation Platform. Since 2012, Richard has been involved in the origination, evaluation, execution and post-investment monitoring of venture capital and growth equity fund investments.
Richard started his career at Merrill Lynch & Co. in investment banking. He subsequently joined TorQuest Partners as an investment professional, and also worked at the Boston Consulting Group as a management consultant.
Richard holds an HBA and an MBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business at Western University.
- Senior Principal
Brad Leufkens has significant experience structuring and executing investments globally. In his current role, he leads a variety of strategy, relationship building, investment and leadership activities to support the build of Teachers’ Innovation Platform. Brad was involved in the energy and infrastructure sectors for over 10 years and played a leading role in the investments of several companies including Cubico Sustainable Investments, First Infrastructure Capital, Stem, Inc. and Trillium Storage. Brad currently serves on the boards of BluEarth Renewables, Anbaric Development Partners, and Trillium Storage.
Prior to joining Ontario Teachers', Brad worked in investment banking with the Royal Bank of Canada structuring infrastructure investments in Canada and originating sub investment grade credit in the U.S. Capital Markets.
Brad holds an Honours B.Sc. degree in Physics from the University of Guelph and is currently completing his MBA at the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management.
- Managing Director, Teachers’ Innovation Platform & High Conviction Equities (London)
Maggie Fanari is based in London and heads the High Conviction Equities (formerly Relationship Investing) team's direct equities investments for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. She is also responsible for supporting the build of the global strategy for Teachers’ Innovation Platform (TIP) and the execution of that strategy in EMEA.
Maggie has been with Ontario Teachers' since 2006 and was based in Toronto until moving to London in 2015. Maggie has structured and executed on large-scale, partnership-driven minority investments in both public and private companies in multiple sectors globally. She started her career as an auditor at KPMG and previously worked in equity research at Scotia Capital.
Maggie is a Chartered Accountant and a CFA charterholder. She also holds a BBA from the Schulich School of Business at York University and ICD.D certification from the Institute of Corporate Directors.
- Principal (London)
Luke Porter joined Ontario Teachers' in 2018. As a member of the Teachers’ Innovation Platform, he plays a key role in implementing TIP’s global strategy. He previously worked on the Equities team, focusing on direct investments in both public and private companies in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Prior to joining Ontario Teachers', Luke was an associate in the investment banking division of J.P. Morgan in London, where he was involved in a variety of capital markets and corporate advisory transactions across the consumer, retail and healthcare sectors.
Luke holds a Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in economics and finance, with First Class Honours from the University of Sydney.
- Principal (Hong Kong)
Geoffrey Liu joined Ontario Teachers' Hong Kong office in 2016 and is focused on direct venture capital and growth equity investments as a member of the Teachers’ Innovation Platform (TIP) team in the Asia-Pacific region. Geoffrey has also worked in our Equities team, conducting direct equity investments across pre-IPO and public market opportunities in Asia.
Geoffrey started his career in Goldman Sach’s investment banking division in New York. Before joining Ontario Teachers', he was an investment analyst at a hedge fund focused on event-driven investing in Hong Kong.
Geoffrey holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics (summa cum laude) degree from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Catherine Qian joined Ontario Teachers’ in 2017 and is a member of the Teachers’ Innovation Platform (TIP). Currently based in Hong Kong, she plays a key role in implementing TIP’s global strategy across Asia with a focus on direct venture capital and growth equity investments. Previously located in Toronto, she has been actively involved in a number of key transactions including TIP’s investments into Sidewalk Infrastructure Partners (SIP), Kry and Stem.
Catherine was previously a Principal in the Infrastructure and Natural Resources group in Toronto where she helped structure and execute direct private investments in the energy and infrastructure space globally. She was also actively involved in asset management of portfolio companies and worked closely with management teams across the energy, utilities and timber sectors.
Catherine started her career in the Financial Institutions Group at Citi in Toronto. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree with High Distinction from the University of Toronto and is a CFA charterholder.
TIP seeks equity investments both directly and indirectly through:
Directs and co-investments: We are continuously looking for attractive opportunities to invest directly in private companies with like-minded partners. We seek companies that value Ontario Teachers’ long-term investment horizon and approach to value creation where we can actively support management throughout our investment period. Along with financial support, we provide access to Ontario Teachers’ strong global networks, and advice and guidance to help grow the businesses we invest in. We look for well-managed companies with high-potential brands and compelling growth prospects. We can act as a direct equity investor, or partner with our established, industry-leading fund partners as a co-investor.
Funds: Ontario Teachers' has strategic investments with many of the world's leading growth equity and venture capital firms. We value the opportunities to share information, co-invest and work in other ways with our fund partners, including the pursuit of opportunities in markets we can't easily access directly. We are members of the Institutional Limited Partners Association (ILPA), and endorse the ILPA Private Equity Principles which we believe form the basis of an effective private equity partnership: Alignment of Interest, Governance and Transparency.
Strategic Partnerships and Platforms: Ontario Teachers’ has a track record of forming strategic relationships with a variety of corporate partners who are aligned with us on uncovering unique and valuable investment opportunities. TIP is building on this by forming long-term partnerships with leading technology companies. We are flexible in how we invest with partners and employ a large range of structures such as joint-ventures, platform companies, investment vehicles and funds.