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HOOPP Appoints Michael Wissell as New CIO

The Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan said Wissell will take over investment responsibilities from president and CEO Jeff Wendling.

The Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan has appointed Michael Wissell as its new chief investment officer, the Canadian pension giant announced Wednesday. 

Wissell will assume investment responsibilities for the C$104 billion (US$82 billion) fund from president and CEO Jeff Wendling, who has been serving in both roles since becoming CEO in March 2020.

“I’m honored to be HOOPP’s next CIO and look forward to building upon the success of my predecessors,” Wissell said in a statement. “HOOPP has an excellent track record of adapting to evolving market conditions and maintaining a strong funded position for our members.”

Wissell has been serving as senior vice president of HOOPP’s capital markets and total portfolio since he joined the fund more than three years ago. Prior to joining HOOPP, he spent 16 years at the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, where he was in charge of the public equities team and the portfolio construction group. 

Founded in 1960, HOOPP serves Ontario’s healthcare sector with more than 610 participating employers. It has amassed more than 400,000 active, deferred, and retired members to date.

Last year, the fund generated 11.42 percent returns, beating its benchmark of 9.8 percent despite the pandemic. Institutional Investor previously reported that HOOPP wound down its ten-year-old long-term options strategy in 2020 after the strategy recorded a C$629 loss in 2019. 

Wissell is valued for bringing “culture of innovation” and “new investment strategies” to the fund, according to a HOOPP statement.

“I am very pleased to have someone of Michael’s calibre moving into this critical position at HOOPP,” Wendling said in a statement. “His deep knowledge and understanding of the HOOPP fund, our investment strategies and the investment teams, combined with his more than 30 years of investment experience, make him the right choice for the role.” 

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