Ontario Teachers’ taps former US Airways CEO as first advisor

Airline industry veteran Rakesh Gangwal will advise the pension’s private equity arm on tech and business service deals amid its push into infrastructure.

Former US Airways president Rakesh Gangwal has joined the $17 billion (€26 billion) Teachers’ Private Capital as a senior advisor – the first in a series of hires Teachers’ plans to make.

Gangwal will be based in New York and responsible for sourcing and evaluating technology and business services transactions for the private equity division of the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan.

He was previously chairman, president and chief executive of travel technologies company Worldspan Technologies, before which he led US Airways Group for five years and held senior positions at Air France and United Airlines.

He is the first in a network of advisors comprised of executive business leaders Teachers’ is working to establish, a spokeswoman said.

Gangwal was hired for his “broad skills in business services, consumer products and diversified industrial sectors”, said a spokeswoman. Teachers’ private equity strategy focusses on five industry verticals: consumer businesses; industrial and business services; telecom, media and technology; financial services; and venture capital.

The hire comes as Teachers’ negotiates a 50 percent stake in Prague Airport in partnership with France’s state-owned operator Aeroports de Paris, its second such deal.

Infrastructure is a key element of Teachers’ investment allocation strategy, a spokeswoman told PEO in March, as they provide a hedge for against inflation.