CANADA - The Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS) has launched a new investment entity which will invest in private companies focused on real estate development, airports and energy.

OMERS Strategic Investments is designed to expand the pension fund's global reach and diversify its investments will tap the successes of OMERS investment teams under an OMERS Worldwide brand from its offices in Toronto, Calgary and London, according to Michael Nobrega, President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for OMERS.

"The new investment entity under the OMERS Worldwide brand will be an efficient means of extending the global reach of our real estate company Oxford Properties, our infrastructure company Borealis and the OMERS Private Equity team. It will put them in an advantageous position to evaluate prospective investments for their own portfolios."

As part of that development, Jacques Demers, previously a corporate lawyer at Ogilvy Renault LLP, has been appointed as president and chief executive of OMERS Strategic Investments, starting on 1 January, 2009.

Demers' focus has primarily been on mergers and acquisitions in his earlier roles, including infrastructure and natural resource-related projects.

"He will create a portfolio of what we call global access companies that through their work around the world are aware of attractive investments, such as airports, real estate developments, energy projects and other hard assets, before they become generally known to institutional investors," added Nobrega.

Demers will report to Nobrega and will become a member of OMERS' senior executive team and the committee which approves and reviews all investments.

OMERS Strategic Investments is designed to diversify the pension fund's investments and will market the successes of all OMERS investment teams under an OMERS Worldwide brand from its offices in Toronto, Calgary and London.

OMERS is one of Canada's largest pension funds with C$52bn (€32.6bn) of assets under management and provides benefits to 380,000 members for 900 employers in Ontario.

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