Learn more about the Chief Investment Officer of the Year Award finalists

The Canadian Investment Review’s Chief Investment Officer of the Year Award will be presented to a CIO that has demonstrated leadership when it comes to pension investing and made improvements to his or her organization’s investment process. This award will take a holistic view of success and consider environmental, social and governance factors when determining which CIO deserves recognition.

Highlights about the three finalists are available below:

Julie Cays

Julie Cays is the chief investment officer of the Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology Pension Plan. She joined CAAT in 2006 and has 35 years of experience in capital markets, previously serving as the vice-president of external managers at the Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan and as the director of capital management at CIBC. Since 2006, Julie has led the CAAT pension plan in transitioning from a traditional asset mix with $5.3 billion of assets under management to a highly diversified portfolio with $13.5 billion under management, including alternative assets. The CAAT plan’s investment performance has seen a 10-year annualized rate of return of 10 per cent. Cays also oversaw the implementation of CAAT’s private market fund and co-investment programs in private equity, infrastructure and real estate. Further, in December 2019, her team allocated an approximately $1 billion in pension asset transfers following the pension mergers with Torstar Corporation and the Canadian Press.

Robert Cultraro

Robert Cultraro has been the senior vice-president and chief investment and pension officer at Hydro One Inc. since 2012. Previously, he was acting CIO from 2010 to 2012 and a director from 2006 to 2010. Cultraro has extensive expertise in strategic decision-making, managing a team of investment professionals and managers, strategic and tactical asset allocation, the selection and monitoring of investments, pension governance and risk management. Cultraro holds many designations including as a Chartered Financial Analyst, Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst, Certified Investment Manager and the Institute of Corporate Directors’ Designation. He is professionally affiliated with the CFA Institute, the Toronto CFA Society, the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst Association and is a fellow of the Canadian Securities Institute. Further, he is the chair of the board of the Toronto CFA Society.

James Davis

James Davis is the chief investment officer of the OPSEU Pension Trust, which has net assets of almost $22 billion and investment professionals in Toronto, London and Sydney. Davis joined OPTrust in 2015 from the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, where he served as vice-president of strategy and asset mix and chief economist. At OPTrust, Davis has led the development and implementation of a member-driven investment strategy, which is a form of liability-driven investing. The MDI strategy has been instrumental during the extreme volatility caused by the coronavirus crisis. Throughout the pandemic, OPTrust has significantly outperformed its reference portfolio and continues to be fully funded. Davis has also led OPTrust’s responsible investing evolution, including the development of a climate change action plan and the launch of a new sustainable investing and innovation department. Davis is a strong advocate of diversity and developing future leaders and has launched a rotational internship program within the investment division to help find and develop young talent.

To find out who wins, register today for the Defined Benefit Investment Forum, which will feature the Pension Leadership Awards Ceremony. Learn more: http://www.investmentreview.com/conference/defined-benefit-investment-forum-2020