Blake Hutcheson is Now OMERS' New CEO

Jun 01 22:06 2020 Print This Article

OMERS today made it official, announcing Blake Hutcheson the new CEO to continue global expansion:OMERS is pleased to announce the official appointment of Blake Hutcheson as President and CEO, effective today. Mr. Hutcheson, currently OMERS President, succeeds Michael Latimer as CEO. His appointment supports OMERS long-term plans for continued global expansion and completes the leadership transition announced in December 2019.“Since its founding in 1962, OMERS has lived its purpose as a defined benefit pension plan to meet the retirement income needs of its members which consists of employees of municipal governments and local agencies and boards in the Province of Ontario,” said Mr. Hutcheson. “Right now, many OMERS members are working directly on the frontlines of Ontario’s response to the pandemic. I am deeply honoured and humbled to have the opportunity to work every day for them and all of our more than 500,000 members, and 1,000 employers.”“It is a privilege to lead this purpose-driven organization. I am blessed to be surrounded by an outstanding, world-class team of deeply committed senior executives who put the best interests of our members above all else. Together, we will position OMERS to meet current and emerging challenges, find new opportunities to grow and deliver on our promise to our members,” Mr. Hutcheson added.“On behalf of the OMERS Administration Corporation’s (AC) Board of Directors, I want to express our support for Blake as CEO. Throughout my career, I have worked with many successful CEOs, and I cannot think of anyone better suited to lead us at this point in our journey,” said George Cooke, Chair of the OMERS AC Board. “Canadian defined benefit pension plans, such as OMERS, have over time become globally-significant investors, active across various asset classes. In our case, OMERS world-wide investment footprint now stretches from Singapore to Stockholm to Santiago de Chile. This speaks to the strong foundation patiently constructed by Blake’s predecessors and given his more than 10-year track record with OMERS, we know Blake will skillfully build on that foundation, delivering on plans for further expansion,” he added.Additional Background on Blake Hutcheson:Blake Hutcheson is now officially President and CEO of OMERS. He is responsible for the overall leadership and performance of the OMERS enterprise. Prior to that, he was OMERS President and Chief Pension Officer. He previously served as President and CEO of Oxford Properties Group from 2010 to June of 2018.Prior to OMERS, Mr. Hutcheson headed Global Real Estate with Mount Kellett Capital Management, an international private equity firm, and prior to that he was Chairman and President of the Canadian, Latin American, and Mexican operations for CB Richard Ellis, the world’s largest real estate services company.A former recipient of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40, Mr. Hutcheson is a graduate of the University of Western Ontario. He also completed a Graduate Diploma in International and Comparative Politics at the London School of Economics (with Distinction) and a Master’s Degree in Real Estate Development at Columbia University (from which he received the Distinctive Alumni Award in 2017).About OMERS:Founded in 1962, OMERS is one of Canada’s largest defined benefit pension plans, with $109 billion in net assets as at December 31, 2019. OMERS is a jointly-sponsored pension plan, with 1,000 participating employers ranging from large cities to local agencies, and over half a million active, deferred and retired members. OMERS members include union and non-union employees of municipalities, school boards, local boards, transit systems, electrical utilities, emergency services and children’s aid societies across Ontario. Contributions to the Plan are funded equally by members and employers. OMERS teams work in Toronto, London, New York, Amsterdam, Luxembourg, Singapore, Sydney and other major cities across North America and Europe – serving members and employers and originating and managing a diversified portfolio of high-quality investments in public markets, private equity, infrastructure and real estate.So it's official, Blake Hutcheson is now the President and CEO of OMERS, taking over the reins from Michael Latimer who did an outstanding job leading this organization during his tenure.Earlier today, I reached out to Blake Hutcheson but his communications team told me for now, he's focusing on internal communications and when the time is right, they'll reach out to me.I certainly hope so because OMERS communications have been non-existent over the years, similar to BCI and PSP which admittedly have improved a tad but remain far behind their large peers.You can't be a $110 billion public pension plan in Canada without a much better external communications strategy, one based on transparency, integrity and accountability.Just throwing that out there not to criticize OMERS but to state an important point. It's 2020, if you don't own your brand, someone else will. Period. That goes for every major Canadian pension.Mr. Hutcheson is more of an extrovert than his predecessors so I expect to see him more often and he's a great spokesperson for the organization and very comfortable with media interviews.He's a real estate expert, used to head Oxford Properties, and I'd love to know his thoughts on my recent comment on a paradigm shift in real estate.In a nutshell, here is my thinking:

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About Article Author

Pension Pulse

Leo Kolivakis is an independent senior economist and pension and investment analyst with years of experience working on the buy and sell-side. He has researched and invested in traditional and alternative asset classes at two of the largest public pension funds in Canada, the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (Caisse) and the Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP Investments). He's also consulted the Treasury Board Secretariat of Canada on the governance of the Federal Public Service Pension Plan (2007) and been invited to speak at the Standing Committee on Finance (2009) and the Senate Standing Committee on Banking, Commerce and Trade (2010) to discuss Canada's pension system.

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