Ontario Teachers’ chief economist joins OPTrust

James Davis will succeed Alex Macdonald when he assumes the CIO position at OPTrust on September 8.

Financial services veteran James Davis, who until recently served as vice president, strategy and asset mix and chief economist at Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTPP), has been appointed chief investment officer of OPTrust, the Toronto-based pension fund said in a recent statement.

Davis succeeds Alex Macdonald who left the C$17.5 billion (€11.8 billion; $13.2 billion) pension fund last February and will report to OPTrust president and chief executive Hugh O’Reilly.

“James Davis is an accomplished strategic leader with an excellent track record,” O’Reilly said. “His skills will be a significant asset to OPTrust as we work to pay pensions today and preserve pensions for tomorrow for our over 86,000 members and retirees.”

Before joining OTPP, where he led a team providing investment strategy, economic analysis, and emerging market insight, Davis was president of FuturesTrend Capital and vice president and head, global fixed income and currencies at RBC Global Investment Management in Toronto.

Founded in January 1995, OPTrust, also known as OPSEU Pension Trust, administers the OPSEU pension plan and is responsible for investing the plan's assets to support the cost of members' and retirees' pension benefits.

The pension plan is jointly sponsored by the Government of Ontario and the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU). It is a legal trust that exists at arm's length from both OPSEU and the government.