OPTrust names former Manulife exec as CIO

Alex Macdonald, a former executive vice president at Canadian insurance company Manulife, will replace OPTrust’s retiring chief investor Morgan Eastman.

The Ontario Public Service Employees’ Union Pension Trust has named Alex Macdonald as its next chief investment officer. 

Macdonald will join OPTrust on 4 November and replace current CIO Morgan Eastman following his retirement at the end of the year. Macdonald was most recently the executive vice president of Canadian Investments and Global Investment Strategy at Canadian insurance company Manulife. He was also the president of Laketon Investment Management, a division of London, Ontario-based GLC Asset Management, and held a number of senior roles with Canada Life.

“Morgan Eastman built our investment operations from a small team to a diverse group with sophisticated capabilities,” OPTrust chief executive officer Bill Hatanaka said in a statement. “In Alex Macdonald, we have found a worthy successor who will continue to build on our track record of strong, long-term investment results.”

Macdonald’s appointment comes just one year after Hatanaka stepped into the chief executive role at OPTrust. The former group head of wealth management at TD Bank Financial Group, Hatanaka was appointed following a seven-month search to replace former head Stephen Griggs, who was fired in April 2011.

Formed in 2005, OPTrust manages the Ontario Public Service Employees’ Union pension plan. It invests, manages, and administers the pension plan's assets for its 82,000 beneficiaries. The fund currently has $13.7 billion in assets under management and first invested in private equity in 2006, according to PEI’s Research & Analytics division.