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Canada’s Newest Pension Manager Gets CIO

Canadian pension veteran Jean Michel has been named investment chief at the Investment Management Corporation of Ontario.

Canada’s recently created public pension manager, the Investment Management Corporation of Ontario, has selected a chief investment officer, the fund announced Wednesday.

Jean Michel, most recently an executive vice president at la Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, will become CIO of two-year-old IMCO on July 3. Before joining Caisse, Michel spent seven years as the president of Air Canada Pension Investments, developing the investment strategy for the airline’s 14 pension plans, according to the IMCO statement.

In his new role, Michel will lead global investment activities including portfolio construction and pursuit of strategic partnerships.

“Jean is an exceptional leader who brings deep investment experience to IMCO,” said Bert Clark, the asset manager’s president and CEO, in the statement. “We are building an organization that will provide public funds in Ontario with world class portfolio construction advice, access to a diverse range of public and private investment opportunities, as well as high-quality risk management and reporting.”

[II Deep Dive: Ontario Is Building Its Own Pension Plan]

Current clients of the $60 billion asset manager include the Ontario Pension Board and the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board. IMCO was established by the Ontario government in 2016 as an independent manager of the province’s public sector investment funds, including pensions. It began managing money in July 2017, becoming the ninth largest institutional fund in Canada, according to IMCO’s website.

Michel's previous positions include investment consulting roles at Mercer, where he served from 1997 to 2009, ultimately becoming head of Eastern Canada, according to his LinkedIn bio. Before that, he worked at Aon.

“IMCO’s scale and mandate are exciting and I look forward to building a world-class organization that provides public sector funds in Ontario with exceptional investment management services,” Michel said in the fund's statement. “We will operate at the forefront of thinking when it comes to investments.

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