OMERS funds expert joins advisor Caledon

Martin Day, who ran fund commitments and co-investments for OMERS PE, will work with the team at Toronto-based Caledon Capital to build customised accounts for small and mid-sized LPs.

Martin Day, former fund commitment specialist at the Ontario Municipal Employees’ Retirement System, has joined Toronto-based advisor Caledon Capital Management.

Day, who left OMERS Private Equity earlier this year, has joined the team at Caledon that works with small to mid-size institutional investors to create customised programmes around private equity and infrastructure, Day said on Monday.

The firm, founded in 2006 by former OMERS private equity head David Rogers, works with clients to create customised portfolios – both on a discretionary or non-discretionary basis – that include mixes of fund commitments and co-investments.

Smaller institutions “can’t build up the kind of in-house team that large funds can”, Day told Private Equity International in an interview. “It’s not economical, they can’t get the same kind of leverage out of the team, they don’t have as much capital available. But they don’t see any reason why they shouldn’t get the same type of exposure and have a programme that is sophisticated and broadly based.”

Martin Day

Day joined OMERS in 2003 and decided to leave the organisation because of the its shift over the past few years from fund investing to direct investing. OMERS made the decision to expand its direct investment exposure starting in 2004, and when OMERS chief executive Michael Nobrega took the helm in 2007, he pushed the system even further to becoming a direct investor.

Because of the strategy shift, Day had been spending his time managing out OMERS PE’s extensive legacy portfolio, while doing some work on the direct investment side.

“What I wanted to do was continue focusing on fund and co-investment strategies,” Day said. “I loved what I was doing; I’m extremely proud of the fund and co-investment programme at OMERS [which is] extremely well-respected. It was recognised as one of the more sophisticated programmes in the world and I would like to pursue that.”

With the new role, Day will be able to continue his work, this time helping smaller organisations build out alternative programmes.

“Our work always starts with a bit of education … hand holding and kind of a high touch is absolutely what they are looking for,” Day said Monday.

Founded in 2006, Caledon has built an impressive roster of industry professionals. Rogers is joined by partner Jean Potter, who came from TD Capital Private Equity Investors, Asif Hussain, a partner who joined in 2010 from the infrastructure group at Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and partner Justin Kusinskis, who formerly worked at Scotia Capital.