Oxford Properties Group has appointed a chief investment officer for the first time as part of a revamped leadership structure under new executive chair Daniel Fournier, PERE has learned.

The real estate investment arm of Canadian pension plan Ontario Municipal Employees’ Retirement System has elevated Chad Remis to the newly created position. Remis previously led Oxford’s North American business in his role as executive vice-president of North America. In that position, Remis lead Oxford’s investment, asset management and development activity across the region, which accounts for 75 percent of Oxford’s deployed capital.

Chad Remis Oxford
Remis: becomes Oxford’s first CIO after previously leading its largest regional business

Under Remis’s leadership, Oxford’s North American holdings have shifted from a heavy focus on the office sector five years ago to a more diversified portfolio of industrial, multifamily, life sciences and credit today. As part of this portfolio restructuring, Remis also oversaw a number of large office dispositions including the sale of Royal Bank Plaza in Toronto in 2022, St John’s Terminal in New York in 2021, and One Memorial in Boston, all of which were the largest single-asset office transactions of the year in their respective markets. Remis first joined Oxford’s investment team in New York in 2013.

The creation of a CIO role marks a significant milestone in the evolution of Oxford Properties and OMERS, which is one of the world’s largest real estate investors. OMERS ranks 34 in PERE’s Global Investor 100 ranking, with a total of $15.3 billion allocated to the asset class.

“Oxford has been on a remarkable growth journey,” Fournier said in a statement, noting the organization now invests in eight property types across 14 countries and four continents. “It’s the right time in Oxford’s growth story to appoint a CIO to take a global view of our investments and portfolio. This will ensure we find and execute upon the best opportunities across the globe to deliver the best overall return for OMERS and our capital partners.”

Fournier, who took over leadership of Oxford in April, said of Remis: “He is one of the very best real estate investors in the business, is highly respected within our organization and industry, and has led our North American team with distinction for the past six years. In this new role, we will utilize Chad’s strengths and expertise across a global mandate to lead a team that harnesses the collective power of all our investment professionals, irrespective of their location. As our business continues to increase in scale, reach and complexity, this evolved structure will set us up for our next decade of growth.”

Remis’s promotion was one of the several leadership changes at Oxford. Liz Murphy, who has served in the dual role of senior vice-president of finance at Oxford and global head of tax at OMERS for nearly five years, was promoted to CFO, replacing Allison Wolfe, who will be leaving the organization in September.

Murphy will also be one of six leaders joining Oxford’s executive committee, alongside Alessandro Fiascaris, head of Asia-Pacific; Claire McIntyre, head of corporate & public affairs; Nu Suwankosai, head of global credit; Randy Hoffman, EVP North American investments; and Tyler Seaman, EVP Canada. The committee’s existing members include Fournier, Remis; Joanne McNamara, EVP Europe; Alysha Valenti, chief legal officer; and Rob Ecclestone, head of human resources.

Oxford began diversifying its portfolio by both geography and sector in 2010, when Blake Hutcheson, now CEO of OMERS, assumed leadership of the platform. At the time, the investor’s portfolio was 85 percent Canadian and approximately 90 percent office and retail.

Today, Oxford has allocated 40 percent of its deployed capital to the US, 35 percent to Canada, 15 percent to Europe and 10 percent to Asia-Pacific. Industrial now represents the investor’s largest sector allocation at 36 percent, followed by office and retail together comprising 31 percent. The remainder of the portfolio is invested in residential at 11 percent, life sciences and credit each at 9 percent and hotels and alternatives at 4 percent.