Ontario Teachers' CIO to retire

Robert Bertram will step down from the C$108.5bn pension fund at the end of 2008, to be replaced by current senior VP Neil Petroff. Bertram led Ontario’s purchase in 2000 of the real estate operating company, Cadillac Fairview, which now evaluates all of OTPP's real estate investments.

The chief investment officer of Ontario Teachers Pension Plan (OTPP), Robert Bertram, will retire at the end of the year after almost two decades with the fund.

He will be replaced by the pension’s current group senior vice-president of investments and former alternatives chief, Neil Petroff. The appointment will take effect from 1 January, 2009.

Bertram was with OTPP for 18 years and led the pension's early forays into private equity, infrastructure and timber.  He also lead Ontario’s purchase of the real estate operating company, Cadillac Fairview, in 2000

Cadillac evaluates real estate investments on behalf of OTPP and manages a C$16 billion portfolio of around 83 properties, including the Toronto Eaton Centre, Sherway Gardens, and Toronto-Dominion Centre

Jim Leech, OTPP president and chief executive officer said in a statement Bertram had achieved many “firsts” for the pension, adding:  “His success has changed the way pension plans the world over now invest their funds.”

Petroff joined Ontario Teachers’ in 1993 and led the fixed income, foreign exchange, tactical asset allocation and alternative investment groups before overseeing all of the pension’s asset classes and portfolios as group senior vice-president.

According to OTPP’s website, the pension fund has total assets valued at C$108.5 billion ($83.8 billion; €67.2 billion) as of December last year, with C$16.4 billion in real estate and C$8.8 billion in infrastructure and timber. Teachers Private Capital, the private equity investment arm of OTPP, was formed in 1991 and has an $18 billion portfolio.