David Rogers to leave OMERS

The head of private equity for Canada’s fourth-largest pension fund is resigning, possibly to launch his own operation.

David Rogers, senior vice president and head of the private equity and co-investment programme at the Ontario Municipal Employees’ Retirement System, is resigning from his position after more than six years with the pension.

David Rogers will leave OMERS May 12

During his time at OMERS, Rogers was instrumental in building the pension fund’s private equity portfolio. Rogers implemented a strategy of establishing a combination of fund and co-investment relationships with leading groups in the venture and buyout realm around the world. When Rogers arrived at OMERS he inherited a team of three investment professionals. He now leads a team of 15 and a private equity portfolio with assets of approximately $3 billion (€2.3 billion).

“I came on board to build a funding co-investment program, and I think I’ve done a good job with that,” Rogers told PEO. “We’ve got a number of strong relationships around the world, with a billion dollars of co-investment in various funds. But you sort of reach a point where you say, time to try something new.”

Rogers said he will stay in the private equity asset class, and hasn’t ruled out the possibility of launching his own operation.

“I haven’t picked the horse I’m going to ride with at this point in time, but I have a number of options,” he said. “Whether it will be a fund of funds, direct investing or advisory role, I don’t know at this point in time. But I have a few options I’m looking at.”

OMERS oversees net assets of C$41.1 billion ($36.4 billion, €30.2 billion) for more than 340,000 municipal workers in the province of Ontario. Last month Paul Haggis, the chief executive officer of OMERS, announced that the fund had generated a return of 16 percent in 2005, surpassing its benchmark of 13.2 percent and the 12.1 percent return it generated in 2004. OMERS’ returns were driven by strong performances in alternative assets. Its private equity investments posted gains of 23.2 percent last year. OMERS has publicly stated that it plans to approximately double its investments in private equity, real estate and infrastructure from its current level of 20 percent to 37.5 percent of total net assets.

Rogers’ last day at OMERS will be May 12.