Pubic Markets

Investment Philosophy

The foundation of our investing philosophy is focused on seeking high-quality investments to meet the pension promise.  This requires us to maintain a long-term perspective on markets and, to help us better manage through short-term volatility, we seek investments that also generate stable income.  To accomplish both, we are disciplined in our approach to portfolio management, embedding a culture of prudent risk management at every level of the organization. We continually strive to build an extraordinary and diverse organization. To this end, we are committed to talent development as we recognize the value of skilled and dedicated investment teams, with the common goal of meeting the pension promise.

Investment Approach

Our approach is to focus on high quality investments that can generate sustainable income and growth, which results in more consistent returns and lower volatility than what is found in broader market. 

To accomplish this, we seek investments in companies with strong balance sheets and resilient business models.  We partner with leading businesses, operators and best-in-class investors to access investment opportunities on a global basis.

Our objective is to construct a well-diversified portfolio across geographies, sectors, strategies and income streams which will deliver long-term, consistent, absolute returns to meet the pension promise.

Investment Strategy

Our diversified approach is managed through a number of programs and investment strategies:

  1. Global Diversified: Focuses on consistent returns over the long-term by gaining exposure to a broadly diversified mix of asset classes. Characteristics include a balanced fund approach, global market exposure and dynamic asset allocation, with the ability to scale our investments up and down according to market conditions.
  2. Global Equities: Focuses on equity exposure, which is achieved through a carefully selected portfolio of attractively valued securities.  These securities are comprised of high-quality companies that are supported by strong balance sheets, which have a limited risk of permanent capital impairment. Characteristics include “blue chip” companies and industry leaders, with less volatility than broad markets.
  3. Fixed Income:  Focuses on a top-down approach to delivering multi-asset, balanced returns with an emphasis on lower duration and lower volatility.
  4. Credit: Seeks to realize attractive risk-adjusted returns in global credit markets, based on disciplined fundamental bottom-up research. We engage in a wide range of partnerships with external expertise to source investment opportunities with attractive risk/return profiles. Characteristics include quality securities and credit instruments that are backed by secure and otherwise high-quality cash flows or income-generating assets.
  5. Relationship Investing: We source opportunities leveraging our partnerships, and enter into investment transactions that are customized and designed to generate income which does not rely on public market participation. These are unique investments in which the terms of the transaction are structured to minimize risk while delivering consistent, long-term returns.

Capital Markets Leadership Team

Robert Lavigne
Robert Lavigne
Managing Director, Economic Research

Robert Lavigne is Managing Director, Economic Research, and in this role serves as an active member of OMERS Capital Market’s leadership group—while also playing a key role in advising the investment team. He also provides economic and capital market analysis to OCM and OMERS. He joined OMERS in 2015.

Prior to joining OMERS, Robert worked at the Bank of Canada on a wide variety of issues related to global macroeconomics and policies. In particular, he advised Canadian policymakers on Canadian positions at the G20 and International Monetary Fund (IMF). In his most recent role at the Bank of Canada, as Division Head of the Advanced Economies Division, he focused on the economic outlooks for Europe and Japan. He has policy and research experience regarding both advanced and emerging economy themes.

Robert holds a Master’s degree in International Economics, University of Montreal, and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics, University of Aix-Marseille II.

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Danial K. Lam
Danial K. Lam
Managing Director, Legal & Business Development

Danial serves as Managing Director, Legal & Business Development. In his current role, Danial is responsible for supporting the development of new business opportunities, including relationship investing and alternatives, and managing legal affairs. He started at OMERS Capital Markets in 2016.

Danial joined OMERS in 2010, and has held a number of senior management positions since that time—including Managing Director & General Counsel of OMERS Strategic Investments, where he was active in the development of partnerships of capital and bi-lateral relationships, and had accountability for legal matters. Danial was previously part of the Mergers & Acquisitions Practice Group at Torys LLP, where his practice focused on corporate/commercial and securities law, with an emphasis on mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance and corporate governance.

Danial received his BA (Philosophy, 1999) from University College, University of Toronto and his LLB (2002) from the University of Western Ontario. He was admitted to the Ontario Bar in 2003. Danial received his ICD.D designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors, and has completed the Directors Education Program at ICD-Rotman.

Danial serves as a board member on a number of OMERS investment entities and portfolio companies, as well as on the Council of Canadian Innovators, a not-for-profit corporation.

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Ken Miner
Ken Miner
Executive Vice-President & Senior Managing Director

Ken Miner serves as Executive Vice President & Senior Managing Director, with responsibility for providing overall strategic leadership and portfolio management for the Fixed Income, Currency and Balance Sheet Management portfolios. He joined OMERS in 2015.

Ken has a 32-year track record building and leading highly-successful investment teams and businesses globally.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Guelph, and is a CFA charterholder.

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John Winsor
John Winsor
Vice President, Human Resources

John Winsor is Vice President, Human Resources, with responsibility for providing strategic oversight of the human resources function within OMERS Capital Markets. John joined OMERS in 2013.

John has 25 years of experience in financial services, both within the business and leading human resources teams.

John studied Business Administration at Evangel University (1991), and has completed executive education programs through the University of Windsor (2003), University of Western Ontario (2007) and University of Michigan (2015).

John currently serves as Board Co-Chair, Matthew House Refugee Reception Services (Toronto).

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Scott McIntosh
Scott McIntosh
Managing Director, Global Multi-Asset

Scott McIntosh is Managing Director, Global Multi-Asset, and in this role is responsible for managing OCM’s Global Diversified Program. Scott joined OMERS in October 2013.

Prior to joining OMERS, Scott was the Head of Canadian Asset Allocation at Manulife Asset Management, and a Portfolio Manager on both Canadian and U.S. diversified portfolios totalling $90 billion. Before coming to Canada, Scott worked in asset allocation and portfolio strategy roles in Australia.

Scott holds a Bachelor of Business from the Queensland University of Technology, Australia, and a Master of Commerce (Applied Finance) from the University of Queensland, Australia.

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Brent Robertson
Brent Robertson
Managing Director, Trading

Brent Robertson is Managing Director, Trading, with responsibility for the OMERS Capital Markets trading desk. The trading desk executes trades for internally-managed domestic and foreign equity, fixed income, and cash portfolio strategies. Brent joined OMERS in December 1998.

Brent received his HBA (Economics with Finance and Accounting) from Wilfrid Laurier University, and his MBA (Financial Engineering) from York University. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst, and a member of the CFA Institute and the Toronto CFA Society.

Brent currently sits on the boards of Aequitas Innovations and the Buyside Investment Management Association (BIMA).

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Brijesh Chopra
Brijesh Chopra, MBA, C.Dir
Managing Director, OMERS Capital Markets Risk Management

Brijesh Chopra is Managing Director of Risk Management at OMERS Capital Markets. He oversees the investment risk and analytics functions, with primary focus on market, credit, counterparty, liquidity, and trading risk management. Providing governance and oversight, Brijesh’s team is integrated within the investment and portfolio management framework. Brijesh serves as a member of the Portfolio Management Committee, and chairs the Trade Management Oversight Committee. He joined OMERS in 2014.

With 20 years of experience in diverse financial roles, Brijesh brings broad and deep experience in capital markets, risk management and operational risk aspects of OMERS business.

Prior to joining OMERS, Brijesh's banking career included major global banks such as Royal Bank of Canada, BMO Capital Markets and Toronto Dominion Bank, where he held leadership roles in Risk Management, Middle Office and worked in North America and Asia.

Brijesh holds a BA in Mathematics from York University, and MBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business, University of Western Ontario. Brijesh is also a Chartered Director, Board Governance program.

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 Sharon M. Ludlow
Sharon M. Ludlow
Head of Insurance Investment Strategy

Sharon serves as Head, Insurance Investments Strategy at OMERS. In this role, Sharon is responsible for setting and executing the strategic plan with respect to OMERS insurance investments.

Sharon has 25 years of progressive experience and is uniquely positioned with experience in both the Life & Health and Property & Casualty (P&C) insurance industries. Prior to joining OMERS, Sharon served as President, Aviva Insurance Company of Canada, Canada’s 2nd largest P&C insurer. From 2005 to 2014, Sharon served as President & CEO (initially CFO) of Swiss Re Canada; one of the world’s largest reinsurers. Prior to that, Sharon served as CFO with Liberty International Underwriters Canada and launched Kanetix, Canada’s first on-line insurance marketplace for consumers.

Sharon is a Chartered Accountant/Chartered Professional Accountant; with a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Toronto. Sharon also holds an FLMI (Fellow, Life Management Institute) designation. Sharon is a graduate of the Directors Education Program, Institute of Corporate Directors and is an ICD.D designate.

In 2013, Sharon was named by WXN one of Canada's Top 100 Most Powerful Women and one of the Top 50 Women in the insurance industry globally by Reactions magazine.

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Catherine Carlin, CFA
Catherine Carlin, CFA
Executive Vice President & Senior Managing Director, Global Equities

Cathy Carlin is Executive Vice President & Senior Managing Director, Global Equities. She re-joined OMERS in December 2016 and has responsibility for overall strategic leadership and portfolio management of global equities, intellectual property, external funds and the event-driven platform. Her team of 20 investment professionals is located in Toronto, New York City and London.

Cathy has over 25 years of experience in the capital markets, and has built a reputation as a trusted financial steward and a collaborative leader. After beginning her career as a credit analyst, Cathy joined OMERS Capital Markets in 1990 where she had accountability for a portfolio within the Canadian equity mandate. Cathy subsequently joined TD Wealth in 2011 where she led a team that developed equity portfolios and counseled investment advisors on portfolio structuring for their high net worth clients.

Cathy is a CFA charterholder and has an Honours Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Wilfrid Laurier University. Cathy has been a speaker for the Canadian Investor Relations Institute, and is a member of the CODE Foundation Board, which supports the advancement of global literacy and education.

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