OMERS appoints Blake Hutcheson new CEO

The Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System is appointing Blake Hutcheson as its new chief executive officer, effective June 1, 2020.

Hutcheson, who is currently OMERS’ president and chief pension officer, will succeed current CEO Michael Latimer, who is retiring after two decades at the pension fund and six years at its helm.

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“Michael has done an outstanding job as OMERS CEO,” said George Cooke, chair of the OMERS’ administration corporation board of directors, in a press release. “He led OMERS in the development and successful execution of our 2020 strategy, which provided clear direction for our members, sponsors, stakeholders and employees, and saw significant growth in assets with steady improvements in the plan’s liabilities and financial position. At the same time, he focused on building a strong culture and establishing a workplace where employees are fully engaged.”

The transition to Hutcheson’s leadership will begin in early 2020. During a decade at the fund, he spent 8.5 years as chief executive officer of Oxford Properties, OMERS’ real estate investment arm.

“It is an honour to be asked to take on this leadership role at this important time in the history of OMERS,” said Hutcheson. “I accept it with equanimity and tremendous enthusiasm. The leadership team we have at OMERS is terrific and I look forward to working with them. I have worked extremely closely with Michael for the last 10 years, hold him in the highest regard and believe that together we will model the CEO transition in a way that will make OMERS proud.”

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Under Latimer’s leadership, the OMERS grew its assets from $65 billion to more than $100 billion and expanded its global footprint, opening offices in five countries.

“It has been a privilege and an honour to lead the talented group of people at OMERS,” said Latimer. “When I first took the role of CEO, I established three priorities for our organization: to focus on our people, our results and our culture so that we ensure the OMERS plan would be secure, sustainable and meaningful to our 500,000 members. I believe with the quality of our people and the balance sheet we have built, OMERS is well-positioned to weather the challenges and seize the opportunities that lie ahead.”