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Bourbonnais departs, Cunningham new CEO at PSP Investments

The Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP Investments) has a new man at the top. Effective...

The Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP Investments) has a new man at the top. Effective immediately, Neil Cunningham has been appointed president and CEO, replacing outgoing Andre Bourbonnais, who is leaving to join BlackRock Alternative Investors.

Neil Cunningham is the new president and CEO, of PSP Investments (CNW Group/PSP Investments)

Neil Cunningham is the new president and CEO, of PSP Investments (CNW Group/PSP Investments)

Prior to Wednesday’s appointment, Cunningham was senior vice-president, global head of real estate and natural resources at PSP Investments. 

Bourbonnais is leaving to head up a new initiative within Blackrock Alternative Investors, PSP Investments said in a release announcing the changes. At Blackrock, Bourbonnais will rejoin his former boss at CPPIB, Mark Wiseman, who resigned from the CEO position in 2016. He is the chairman of BlackRock Alternative Investors.

Neil Cunningham has been a key player in PSP Investments’ evolution, both as an investor and as a senior executive,” said Martin Glynn, chair designate of the board, in the release. “He has played a key role in developing and implementing the organization’s current strategic plan, and possesses a deep understanding of the business, mandate and stakeholders of PSP Investments. 

“This extensive experience, along with Neil’s consistent demonstration of the core values of the enterprise, makes him the natural and ideal next leader of PSP Investments.”

Cunningham’s tenure at PSP Investments

Cunningham joined PSP Investments in 2004 as vice-president, real estate investments, and was named senior vice-president, global head of real estate.  Under his leadership, PSP Investments’ real estate team has become one of the most respected and successful institutional real estate groups in the world. In December 2016, Cunningham also took on oversight of PSP Investments’ natural resources team.

Prior to joining PSP Investments, Cunningham held various positions at Merrill Lynch, Brazos Advisors Canada, National Bank of Canada and Coopers & Lybrand.

“I am delighted and honoured to have been selected by the Board to lead PSP Investments,” Cunningham said in the release. “Our organization is a leader in pension investment management and its position and importance will continue to grow. I am looking forward to this exciting challenge of taking PSP Investments to the next level.”

Bourbonnais served three years as CEO

Bourbonnais served for three years as president and CEO.  Under his guidance, PSP Investments restructured its Private Equity group, created a private debt asset class, opened offices in New York and London and turned in a net return of 12.8 per cent for the fiscal year closing at March 31, 2017.

During Bourbonnais’ tenure, PSP Investments also developed a five-year strategic plan titled Vision 2021.

“André had a very positive impact on PSP Investments during his time as president and CEO,” Glynn said in the release. “His leadership and focused commitment made it a unique pleasure to work alongside him for the last three years. 

“We wish him every success as he pursues his next challenges and look forward to Neil continuing the important initiatives underway at PSP Investments.”

“Making the decision to leave the leadership role of PSP Investments was a difficult one,” Bourbonnais said in the release. “I am very proud of what we accomplished here together, thanks to the great professionals with whom I have had the pleasure of working with and the continued support of the Board of Directors.

“PSP Investments is an extraordinary organization, a leading global institutional investor best positioned to take advantage of the opportunities ahead as it creates value for its contributors and beneficiaries.”

About PSP Investments 

The Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP Investments) is one of Canada’s largest pension investment managers with $139.2 billion of net assets under management as of Sept. 30, 2017. It manages a diversified global portfolio composed of investments in public financial markets, private equity, real estate, infrastructure, natural resources and private debt.

Established in 1999, PSP Investments manages net contributions to the pension funds of the federal Public Service, the Canadian Forces, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the reserve force.

Headquartered in Ottawa, PSP Investments has its principal business office in Montréal and offices in New York and London.

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