OCdts. On Parade

7771 Mr James (Jim) W Leech (RRMC RMC 1968) is President and CEO, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, Toronto. He was born in St. Boniface, Manitoba, Leech has a B.Sc. in mathematics (Royal Military College of Canada) and an MBA (Queen’s University). He is married with three children. Leech is 61. He controls $108.5 billion in assets as of last December, OTPP manages money for 278,000 working and retired teachers. Leech’s military background makes him an efficient, disciplined general of the second-largest pension fund in the country. Leadership and foresight have made Teachers the envy of most pension funds in the country. Between 1990 and 2007, OTPP’s average annual return was 11.4%, versus 8.5% for the indexes it uses as benchmarks. When Jim Leech took charge of Canada’s second-largest pension plan last winter, he also got the keys to what could be the biggest leveraged buyout ever. OTPP’s long-awaited $35-billion takeover of BCE hasn’t gone smoothly for Leech. After surviv ing a Supreme Court challenge, the deal may now fall victim to the global credit crunch before its December deadline. Leech has stayed calm throughout this ordeal, and is equally cool-headed about the broader challenges facing his organization. Within a decade, OTPP will have just one working contributor for every retiree. But it recently erased a projected $12.7-billion shortfall, mostly by moving to end guaranteed cost-of-living increases. As for the current financial crisis, Leech says OTPP–which returned a modest 4.5% last year–is a long-term investor with a relatively conservative asset mix. The fund also has the means to keep paying benefits during trying times, he explains. “We can ride out peaks and valleys without putting people’s se–curity in jeopardy.” –NICK ROCKEL


New Member Appointed to the Canadian Forces Grievance Board – Ms. Carina De Pellegrin was appointed as a part-time member to the Board effective 20 November 2008, for a three-year term.

17096 Carina De Pellegrin (CMR RMC ’90)

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