OMERS poaches CPP energy MD as new global infra head

Michael Hill, who was also the head of CPP Investment’s New York office, will succeed Annesley Wallace when he begins the role in September.

OMERS Infrastructure has hired Michael Hill to become its new global head of infrastructure following the departure of Annesley Wallace in May.

The Canadian pension group has hired Hill from compatriot CPP Investments, where Hill has been since 2016, serving as managing director and head of Americas in its sustainable energies group. Hill, who starts his new role in September, was also the head of CPP’s New York office, where he will continue to be based, with the role previously based in Toronto.

As part of his role at CPP Investments, Hill sits on the board of Canada-based Wolf Midstream, US oil and gas company Enciono Energy and North American renewables group Cordelio Power. Prior to his arrival at CPP, Hill was head of Americas M&A and corporate finance at Nomura.

He will report to OMERS chief investment officer Ralph Berg, who said in a statement that “infrastructure plays a core role in our global investment strategy”. Last year, in an interview with Infrastructure Investor, Wallace revealed the group’s plans to grow its infrastructure allocation from 20 percent to 25 percent by 2027, doubling its asset class AUM to about C$65 billion ($49.3 billion; €44.8 billion). The strategy has generated a five-year average net return of 10.2 percent to the end of 2022.

Wallace herself replaced Berg as OMERS’ global head of infrastructure in April 2021 before her departure in May this year to become executive vice president at TC Energy.

Since then, OMERS has come under the spotlight in the UK as the largest shareholder – owning 32 percent – of Thames Water, after it emerged that the UK government had drawn up plans for a temporary nationalization amid the company’s burgeoning debt levels. It emerged this month that OMERS had cut the value of the company in its accounts by 28 percent at the end of last year. OMERS and the other shareholders have agreed to inject a further £750 million ($963.3 million; €825.5 million), on the condition this “is supported by appropriate regulatory arrangements”, it said in a statement last month.

Closer to home, OMERS also recently acquired a minority stake in Beanfield – a fibre infrastructure network servicing company operating across major cities in Canada, from DigitalBridge. Also last month, it teamed up with APG Asset Management to acquire energy infrastructure solutions company Kenter, operating in the Netherlands and Belgium.