Ron Mock Succeeds Jim Leech as CEO of Ontario Teachers

Ron Mock, senior vice president of fixed income and alternative investments at Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, will succeed Jim Leech as chief executive officer and president next year.

Mock, 60, takes over Jan. 1 when Leech retires after 12 years with the plan and six years as CEO, the Toronto-based fund said today in a statement.

“I want to stay focused on ensuring we are the leader” in the pension plan industry, Mock said in a phone interview. “The world’s a changing place so you have to navigate the organization along the way. I’m comfortable with the team that’s here that we’ll be able to do it.” He declined to comment on his strategies or plans for Ontario Teachers.

Mock joined Teachers’ in 2001 as director of alternative investments and in 2008 was promoted to senior vice president, overseeing all fixed-income assets and hedge funds. He’s also a board member of Cadillac Fairview, which manages Teachers’ C$21 billion ($21 billion) commercial and retail real estate portfolio.

Mock was previously CEO of Phoenix Research and Trading Corp. and was responsible for all of Phoenix Canada’s fixed income business, including the Phoenix Fixed Income Arbitrage LP, a hedge fund. The hedge fund collapsed in 2000 when it lost $125 million in the U.S. bond market, according to an Ontario Securities Commission settlement document from 2003.

Probe Costs

The OSC ordered Mock to pay C$45,000 for investigation costs and banned him from being an officer or director for six years. The regulator said Mock failed to adequately supervise Stephen Duthie, a former Phoenix employee whose trading of U.S. government bonds was “directional, unhedged, and contravened” the company’s investment parameters. Mock’s failure to supervise Duthie was “material to the collapse” of the company, the OSC said.

“We were 100 percent aware of the OSC case and we are fully confident in his abilities and integrity,” Deborah Allan, spokeswoman for the pension fund said in an e-mailed statement. “What the OSC found was an oversight issue, however many years ago. We’re going into this with eyes wide open.”

Leech, 65, was chief executive of the pension fund during the financial crisis, raising net assets to C$130 billion. The fund manages money for 303,000 retired and active teachers in Canada’s most-populous province.

A committee made up of board members has been preparing for the succession since 2011.

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