CPPIB names new global head of real assets

The Canadian pension plan has named a new executive to the role less than a year after announcing the formation of the real assets group and its first global head.

Graeme Eadie, global head of real assets at the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, is stepping down after a year in the role he originated, as reported by sister publication PERE.

The 12-year veteran of the Canadian pension plan will resign from his post on July 15. He will remain a senior managing director and “will continue work with CPPIB in a general management role with a focus on investment approval processes,” according to a statement Monday. CPPIB did not provide a reason why Eadie was stepping down from the global real assets head role.

Replacing Eadie as global head of real assets will be Ed Cass, who will take over on July 15. He currently is senior managing director and chief investment strategist at CPPIB, which he joined in 2008 as head of the global capital markets group. Since then, he has led the global corporate securities group and the global tactical asset allocation program, both within CPPIB’s public market investments department.

CPPIB did not respond to questions relating to Cass’s prior experience in real assets. However, in an email to PERE, a company spokesman said: “Ed Cass is a talented leader who is uniquely qualified to take on the leadership role with real assets. His wide breadth of experience, strong track record and steady progression since joining CPPIB in 2008 – most recently as chief strategist for the organization’s investment strategy – are a testament to his success.”

Last September, CPPIB announced the creation of the global real assets group, with Eadie at the helm of the new unit. With the promotion of Eadie, who previously had been global head of real estate investments, Peter Ballon, formerly head of real estate for the Americas at CPPIB, was elevated to the organization’s head of real estate investments. The real estate team changes took place in May 2016 but were not officially announced until September.

CPPIB’s real assets group invests in commercial real estate, infrastructure and agricultural land assets globally. The team also invests directly in private real estate debt, including first-mortgages and mezzanine loans. Real assets comprised 23.1 percent of CPPIB’s total portfolio as of March 31.

In other senior moves, Geoffrey Rubin will replace Cass as chief investment strategist and become part of CPPIB’s senior management team, also effective July 15. He was most recently managing director and head of portfolio construction and research at the pension plan. Meanwhile, Neil Beaumont is joining CPPIB as chief financial and risk officer on July 24, succeeding Benita Warmbold, who is retiring on August 31. Beaumont was most recently vice president of finance at BHP Billiton’s Americas minerals asset group.