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Key veterans depart as CPPIB shuffles ranks

A trio of veteran executives at the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board announced plans to depart on Monday as the $328-billion fund manager moves new managers into key roles.

In a process that CPPIB chief executive Mark Machin described as a "planned renewal of senior management," chief operations officer Nick Zelenczuk, 62, global head of public market investments Eric Wetlaufer, 55, and former global head of real assets Graeme Eadie, 65, announced they will leave the government-sponsored fund that manages most Canadians' retirement savings over the next few months.

CPPIB, which manages investments on behalf of 20 million Canada Pension Plan contributors and beneficiaries, is still reviewing candidates for these positions.

Mr. Machin, who became CEO in June, 2016, said in a press release: "Through this renewal, we are able to benefit from appointing some new leaders who will inject fresh perspectives, experiences and ideas to the organization."

The departures follow other leadership shuffles that Mr.

Machin has executed since taking the helm, including promoting new management to oversee international operations and shaking up the public markets division.

Most recently, CPPIB announced three promotions last July that filled many of the departing executives' responsibilities.

Newcomer Neil Beaumont joined the fund manager as chief financial officer and chief risk officer; Mr. Zelenczuk is the former CFO and has been at CPPIB for nine years.

And a pair of CPPIB veterans also took on new responsibilities last summer: Ed Cass became global head of real assets, replacing Mr. Eadie, who was at the fund for 12 years, and Geoffrey Rubin was promoted into the job of chief investment strategist.

Toronto-based CPPIB is scheduled to report quarterly financial results on Friday. Through the first six months of its fiscal year, the fund posted a 2.5-per-cent return. In recent quarters, Mr.

Machin said performance suffered because of the impact of a relatively strong Canadian dollar on returns from the fund's extensive holdings outside Canada. Over time, currency moves are not expected to have an impact on the fund's results.

Over the past decade, the CPPIB's annual real rate of return is 5.3 per cent.

© The Globe and Mail

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