Canada Pension CEO to retire, Mark Wiseman to take helm

Tue Feb 28, 2012 1:15pm EST
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(Reuters) - The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, one of the world's largest dealmakers, said on Tuesday that Mark Wiseman, executive vice president and head of investments, will take over as chief executive when current CEO David Denison retires in June.

Wiseman, 41, and a seven-year veteran of the pension fund, currently oversees CPPIB's global investment program and has been a key player in the C$150 billion ($150 billion) fund's move to a more active investment strategy.

Denison informed the board of directors in 2009 of his intent to retire in 2012, triggering a long-term succession plan. Board Chairman Robert Astley praised Denison for reshaping the pension fund into one capable of undertaking the largest and most complex deals in the world.

Astley also said that Wiseman has been instrumental in shaping CPPIB's strategy over the last seven years.

"We undertook a deliberate process, determined to select a successor who would continue to provide outstanding leadership. The board unanimously agreed Mark Wiseman was the ideal choice," Astley said in a statement.

Wiseman, who earned his stripes at the C$110 billion Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan before moving over to the CPPIB in 2005, said the fund will continue its global focus.

"I look forward to taking the helm at a time when CPPIB is playing an increasingly important role globally, investing in order to ensure the long-term growth and sustainability of the CPP Reserve Fund," he said in a statement.

The CPPIB, which manages Canada's public pension system, switched gears in 2006 when it started to move away from passive investments to make more private equity deals and shape strategy at companies and projects, mostly in real estate and infrastructure.

Braving crisis-shaken markets in 2009, the CPPIB ventured outside traditional pension fund investment parameters to join a consortium to buy a majority stake in Internet phone service Skype.   Continued...

Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) CEO David Denison poses in Toronto in this picture taken August 5, 2010.   REUTERS/Mark Blinch