Tell us a bit about your background.
I have degrees in engineering and education. I started my career in the financial services sector in my native England before making the move to Canada in 1992. Over the last 30 plus years I've held increasingly senior roles with several investment banks. Before joining OPTrust, I was President and Head of Investments for State Street Global Advisors Ltd., where I was responsible for assets under management of $50 billion and their overall Canadian business strategy. I'm a strong advocate for defined benefit pensions as well as responsible investing, and diversity and inclusion initiatives in the workplace.
What do you hope to bring to OPTrust as its new leader?
I will bring my personal values of respect, integrity and teamwork to OPTrust. I will also bring a balanced stable perspective on what matters most to a pension plan. OPTrust's primary goal is to keep the Plan fully funded. This ensures our members receive the pension benefits they have earned during their careers. We have a long-term investment strategy which must include sustainable investing — for both the Plan, and the planet. Our members are our focus, and we strive to deliver a remarkable member experience. Keeping the OPTrust team strong is also an important consideration. We will provide a respectful inclusive work environment to help foster and support our talented team. I am excited to be part of the OPTrust team because every day I get to work with exceptional people who put members first in every decision we make.
Why are pensions and retirement security important to you?
I learned early on about the value defined benefit pensions create for members and their families. As teachers, both of my parents contributed to a pension during their working years and benefited from the security of receiving a steady income in retirement. Defined benefit pension plans offer tremendous value as the best way to provide retirement income security. With OPTrust Select, we have an opportunity to advocate for, and provide, increased defined benefit coverage across the province. The opportunity to lead an organization dedicated to creating retirement security for thousands of people is incredibly rewarding and a proud moment in my career.