CPPIB elevates head of private debt to lead credit team at large

The appointment, which includes oversight over real estate debt, comes as part of a broader swath of changes in senior management.

The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board is getting a new head of head of credit investments to oversee real estate debt and other strategies, just one appointment among a suite of leadership changes and appointments the retirement plan behemoth has made this year.

The Toronto-based pension has named John Graham senior managing director to lead the credit investments team, which includes private real estate debt, principal credit investments and a new public credit investment team. Graham was previously a managing director and global head of principal credit investments.

In real estate, the firm’s debt team invests across the capital stack, including first-mortgages, b-notes, mezzanine loans, preferred equity and single-asset CMBS, according to its website. The platform focuses on positions with terms of three to 15 years, largely in the office, retail, industrial and multifamily sectors in North America, Western Europe and Japan.

The firm could not be reached for additional comment.

CPPIB also made several other appointments. Suyi Kim is now a senior managing director and head of Asia-Pacific. Deborah Orida has been designated a senior managing director and global head of active equities. Poul Winslow is now a senior managing director and global head of capital markets and factor investing. All three are CPPIB veterans, with Kim having joined in 2006 and Orida and Winslow starting in 2009.

The appointments were made to allow for “greater investment agility and the recognition of the importance of emerging markets,” according to the statement.

In July, PERE reported that Graeme Eadie, the global head of real estate, would retire. He left at the end of March and was replaced by Ed Cass, formerly CPPIB’s senior managing director and chief investment strategist.

CPPIB’s credit team has seen some rotation in recent years. Mark Jenkins, formerly a CPPIB senior managing director and global head of private investments, left in September 2016 to become The Carlyle Group’s head of global credit. Adam Vigna, who was a managing director that oversaw the firm’s global principal credit investments business, departed CPPIB in October 2016 to establish Sagard Holdings’ private credit arm.

Both Jenkins and Vigna helped oversee CPPIB’s acquisition of Antares Capital, the former GE Capital mid-market lending firm that specialises in private equity-sponsored companies.

CPPIB, which manages C$337.1 billion ($262.78 billion), invests in public and private markets, including alternatives such as private credit, private real estate and private equity. In addition to its Toronto headquarters, the firm also has offices in the US, Europe, Brazil, Hong Kong, India and Australia.

With additional reporting by Meghan Morris.