Ottawa taps pension executive Jim Leech to advise infrastructure bank: Reuters

The Canadian government has appointed veteran pension executive Jim Leech as a special adviser for its new infrastructure bank, which has been set up to facilitate private investment in such projects as new roads and bridges.

The Liberal government has been courting Canada’s biggest public pension funds and overseas investors such as sovereign wealth funds, as it wants to attract between $4 to $5 for every dollar of public funds invested in new projects.

“This is about making sure our public dollars go farther and are used smarter,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Friday in a statement announcing Leech’s appointment.

Leech retired in 2014 as chief executive officer of the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, which had pioneered a model of directly investing in infrastructure, real estate and other alternatives to equities and bonds.

Leech was CEO of the fund for seven years. He previously headed its Teachers’ Private Capital, where he oversaw growth in private equity, venture capital and infrastructure investments from $2 billion in 2001 to $20 billion in 2007.

Update: Leech was appointed chancellor of Queen’s University in 2013.

(Reporting by Matt Scuffham; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)

(This story has been edited by Kirk Falconer, editor of PE Hub Canada)

Photo courtesy of Queen’s University