Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System

Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System

February 28, 2007 10:18 ET

OMERS Board Appoints Veteran Investment Executive as CEO

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Feb. 28, 2007) -

Editors Note: A photo for this release will be available on the CP picture wire via CCNMatthews.

The OMERS Board of Directors today announced that it has appointed Michael Nobrega, a veteran financial and investment executive for more than 30 years, as the new chief executive officer at the pension plan. His appointment is effective March 12.

Mr. Nobrega is president and chief executive officer of Borealis Infrastructure, which manages infrastructure investments for OMERS. His team at Borealis has built from scratch over the past eight years a $5.6 billion infrastructure portfolio for the benefit of OMERS members. The portfolio has generated investment returns of 14% to 22% annually in the past four years.

The Board has given Mr. Nobrega full chief executive powers. Early priorities include improving management accountability and streamlining reporting to the Board, and enhancing relations with sponsors and stakeholders in a complex plan that serves pensioners and a diversity of workers and employers at the local government level throughout Ontario.

"Michael has consistently delivered excellent investment results and put OMERS on the world stage as an astute infrastructure investor," said OMERS Chair David Kingston. "He is a diplomatic leader who brings people together, creates collegiality and gets the job done. He has excellent relationships with all levels of government, with trade union leaders in the public and private sectors, with leading institutional investment partners and major corporations around the world. These talents, combined with his deep understanding of our investment strategy and commitment to the new governance structure, make him the ideal choice."

Borealis was formed in 1997 under Mr. Nobrega's leadership and he has worked closely with OMERS since then. OMERS has held an economic interest in Borealis since 1998. Mr. Nobrega is a chartered accountant and holds an honours degree in economics and mathematics from the University of Toronto. In 2002, he received the Arbor Award for outstanding community service to the university.

Mr. Nobrega has been a major contributor to OMERS financial success over the past decade. In the last three years, he has worked closely with OMERS senior management and has served on the advisory committee that reviews all investment proposals before they are submitted to OMERS Board for approval. He has also provided important guidance to OMERS on a range of regulatory and taxation issues.

Mr. Nobrega said that the OMERS Board is one of the most effective of many he has worked with over the years. "A lot of the debate about lay versus expert boards is unnecessary and ill-informed noise. OMERS directors understand better than anyone the concerns and needs of plan members."

Currently, 76% of OMERS assets are invested in public markets, primarily stocks and fixed income securities. Mr. Nobrega will continue OMERS strategy of increasing investments in long-term alternative assets, such as real estate, private equity and infrastructure, from 24% to 37.5% of total assets. "This investment strategy will help to generate stable long-term investment returns to secure the retirement income of members."

Among his priorities are to ensure the effective introduction of supplemental plans as contemplated in legislation passed by Ontario in 2006, and to support the establishment of the Sponsors Corporation, which is now responsible for benefits and contributions.

Borealis has assisted OMERS in acquiring $5.6 billion of equity interests in 29 infrastructure assets. Investments include the Bruce Power Nuclear Generation Facility, which produces 20% of the province's electrical capacity, located on the shores of Lake Huron in Bruce County; Enersource Corporation that distributes electricity to 180,000 customers in the City of Mississauga; Enwave Energy Corporation that distributes heat and cooling to 144 buildings in Toronto's downtown core; the Detroit River Tunnel that transports $20 billion of goods annually between Canada and the United States; and MDS Diagnostics that conducts 50 million medical tests annually in 250 locations across Canada.

Other notable investments include two companies in Britain, Associated British Ports, one of the world's largest port management companies, and Scotia Gas Networks that distributes energy to 12 million households.

Mr. Nobrega will appoint a President to assume his responsibilities at Borealis.

OMERS has $48 billion invested in assets around the globe and provides retirement benefits to approximately 372,000 members on behalf of over 900 local government employers across the province. Visit the OMERS website at www.omers.com for more information.

To view a profile of Michael Nobrega, please click on the link below:


Contact Information

  • Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System
    Debbie Oakley
    Senior Vice-President, Corporate Affairs
    (416) 369-2402
    Website: www.omers.com