November 20, 2008
TORONTO: Jim Leech, President and CEO, today announced that Robert Bertram will retire as Executive Vice-President, Investments and Chief Investment Officer of the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan (Teachers') at the end of 2008. Neil Petroff, currently Group Senior Vice-President, Investments, has been appointed his successor, effective January 1, 2009.
Bob has built a world-class investment team that has been consistently recognized for its innovation in pension fund management," said Mr. Leech. "Under his leadership, Teachers' has achieved many firsts – gaining the right to use derivatives, buying a major operating real estate company and being early to invest in private equity, commodities, infrastructure and timber."
"Bob brought a vision to Teachers' that investment results could be delivered as well, or better, in-house," continued Mr. Leech. "His success has changed the way pension plans the world over now invest their funds."
Prior to joining Teachers' in 1990, Mr. Bertram spent 18 years at Telus Corporation, formerly Alberta Government Telephone.
Mr. Leech noted that Mr. Petroff's appointment reflects Teachers' tradition of cultivating its talent internally. "We have always taken a comprehensive approach to succession. Over his career at Teachers', Neil has served in progressively senior positions with broad exposure and management experience in a wide range of asset classes and investment products. This has prepared him to lead our investment program into the future, with its new market realities."
Mr. Petroff has 25 years of experience in the financial industry, beginning his career in investing at Bank of Nova Scotia and continuing at Guaranty Trust and Royal Trustco. He joined Teachers' in 1993 and has been a member of the executive management team for 13 years. He has led the international equity indexes, fixed income, foreign exchange, tactical asset allocation and alternative investment groups. More recently, as Group Senior Vice-President, Investments he has overseen all of Teachers' asset classes and portfolios, including public and private equities, inflation-sensitive and fixed income portfolios.
Mr. Petroff earned a BBA and an MBA from York University and is a graduate of the Corporate Governance College. Together with former CEO, Claude Lamoureux and Mr. Bertram, he was recognized for innovative hedge fund portfolio management when Teachers' was named Public Pension Fund of the Year by Alternative Investments News in 2007.
With $108.5 billion in net assets as of December 31, 2007, 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 281,000 active and retired teachers in Ontario.
View fullsize photos of Neil Petroff and Robert Bertram:
Director, Communications and Media Relations
Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan