By McGill Reporter Staff
On June 24, the Honourable Joe Oliver, Federal Minister of Finance announced the appointment of Heather Munroe-Blum as Chairperson of the Board of Directors of Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB). The appointment is effective October 27. Munroe-Blum will succeed Robert Astley, the CPPIB’s Chairperson since 2008, whose term expires in October.
“Dr. Munroe-Blum exemplifies the attributes of an effective Chairperson,” said Astley. “One of our principal duties as Directors is to provide oversight to CPPIB’s complex, sophisticated and global investment programs. The board unanimously agrees that Heather’s strong reputation as a leader on our Board combined with her strategic thinking and knowledge of global markets make her a clear and welcome choice as Chairperson and will help ensure a seamless and orderly transition of responsibilities.”
The former Principal and Vice-Chancellor of McGill for more than a decade, Munroe-Blum is a distinguished academic administrator and renowned scholar in the fields of psychiatric epidemiology and public policy. She was appointed as a Director of CPPIB in 2011 and is currently a member of its Human Resources and Compensation Committee. She has more than 25 years of senior management experience concentrated in higher education, public policy, and research and development and has served as a director on executive, human resources and compensation, governance, investment finance and risk committees across the public and private sectors. She has served on the boards of Four Seasons Hotels, Alcan, the Canada Forum of Rio Tinto Alcan, Yellow Media Inc., and Hydro One (Ontario), among others.
Munroe-Blum also served as Vice-President, Research and International Relations at the University of Toronto. She is currently a director of the Royal Bank of Canada, the Trilateral Commission and the Gairdner Foundation and a member of the President’s Council of the New York Academy of Sciences, the Canada Foundation for Innovation and the Board of Stanford University’s Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences.
“I am honoured to assume the role of Chairperson and build on Bob Astley’s remarkable leadership,” said Munroe-Blum. “I look forward to working closely with the Board of Directors and President & CEO Mark Wiseman and his management team as CPPIB continues to pursue its long-term strategy to invest the largest single-purpose pool of capital in Canada and help provide a foundation upon which 18 million Canadians build their financial security in retirement.”
CPPIB is a professional investment management organization that invests the funds not needed by the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) to pay current benefits on behalf of 18 million Canadian contributors and beneficiaries. In order to build a diversified portfolio of CPP assets, CPPIB invests in public equities, private equities, real estate, infrastructure and fixed income instruments. Headquartered in Toronto, with offices in Hong Kong, London, New York City and São Paulo, CPPIB is governed and managed independently of the Canada Pension Plan and at arm’s length from governments. As of March 31, the CPP Fund totalled $219.1 billion.
The foundation supporting this governance structure is an independent board of highly qualified directors that approves investment policies, determines with management the organization’s strategic direction and makes critical operational decisions. Directors are selected through a rigorous, multi-step governmental nomination and appointment process to ensure they are sufficiently skilled to supervise a complex professional investment management organization.
For more information about CPPIB, go here.