OMERS hires Blackstone senior MD to head Americas infra team

Michael Ryder, who previously worked for Blackstone Energy Partners, will help the Canadian pension seek opportunities in the energy sector.

Michael Ryder

OMERS Infrastructure has appointed former Blackstone senior managing director Michael Ryder to lead its Americas infrastructure team, Infrastructure Investor has learnt.

Ryder will be tasked with heading the Toronto-based Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System’s infrastructure investment strategy in the Americas. Ryder led the midstream energy and oilfield services investment strategy for Blackstone Energy Partners, which he joined in 2014. Previously, Ryder spent 14 years with Morgan Stanley. Serving as a managing director with Morgan Stanley Private Equity, Ryder worked in the energy and industrial sectors.

The Americas role was previously held by Sebastien Sherman, who spent 14 years at OMERS before leaving the scheme last November to join Blackstone’s infrastructure group. He now works as a senior managing director for the New York-based firm, leading its activities in the utilities, renewables and transportation sectors.

The addition of the energy specialist will bolster OMERS’ efforts to tap opportunities in the energy sector. Last April, the firm invested $341 million in Chile’s GNL Quintero natural gas terminal, acquiring a 34.6 percent share in the pipeline in a move that signalled its “entrance into South America”. OMERS also invested in Alectra, a Canadian power firm, last year.

OMERS is one of the country’s largest pension funds, holding roughly C$85 billion ($68.75 billion; €55.39 billion) in assets under management as of 31 December 2016. It has a 17 percent infrastructure allocation, its largest private asset class.