Ontario Teachers names European head

Former 3i Group managing partner and head of venture capital Jo Taylor has been recruited to lead Ontario Teachers’ direct investment unit in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Teachers Private Capital, the direct investment arm of pension fund The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, has hired Jo Taylor to head its London office, according to a statement. Taylor fills a post that has lain vacant since the departure of Ben Hewetson in 2010 after less than three years in the role. OTPP cited “cultural differences” for his departure. 

Taylor, who has been investing privately since his departure from 3i Group in 2008, becomes vice president of Teachers Private Capital and will effectively be the pension fund’s senior representative for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. He began work earlier this month, according to an OTPP spokeswoman, and will report to Jane Rowe, senior vice president at TPC. Until Taylor's appointment, Rowe had overseen the London office's operations from Toronto.

He will be responsible for sourcing, negotiating and executing investments in the C$100 million ($99 million ; €76 million) to C$300 million bracket.

Taylor spent 24 years at UK-listed 3i Group, rising through the ranks to become a managing partner and head of its venture capital arm. He left 3i in 2008 to found Ethean Capital, a technology and healthcare-focused private equity group. He then left Ethean 18 months later in early 2010. Since then, he has held a number of directorships according to his LinkedIn profile.

Jane Rowe said in a statement: “With his extensive investment background and private equity experience, Jo has demonstrated a collaborative leadership style and strong deal-origination skills that will make him a powerful addition to our London team. His appointment enhances our investment capabilities and demonstrates our clear commitment to grow our European business.”

Teachers’ UK investments total more than £2 billion ($3.1 billion ; €2.4 billion), it said.