Canadian pension fund OMERS hires former Blackstone exec in Singapore

A man carrying an umbrella walks along the Jubilee Bridge in front of the city skyline in Singapore. Photographer: Nicky Loh/Bloomberg

OMERS Private Equity, the private equity investment arm of Canadian public pension fund OMERS, has appointed Jeff French as an investment director at its Singapore office.

French joined the pension fund this month from Blackstone Group, where he worked for more than six years as a PE investment professional. His previous stints have been with Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs.

Founded in 1962, OMERS is one of Canada’s largest defined benefit pension plans, with more than C$97 billion ($73 billion) in net assets, as of 31 December 2018. The pension fund invests and administers pensions for more than half a million members and manages a diversified portfolio of investments in public markets, private equity, infrastructure and real estate.

OMERS opened its Singapore office last year, with its private equity arm appointing long-time exec David Payne to lead its Asia Pacific operations. Payne, who joined the firm’s London office in 2009, focused on direct investments in Europe before relocating to Singapore in 2018 to lead the firm’s PE investments in APAC.

The pension fund’s president and CEO Michael Latimer had earlier said that the opening of its Singapore office demonstrates the potential the firm sees in the Asia-Pacific region, both from the perspective of making direct investments and cultivating new investment partners.

Other pension funds with a presence in Singapore include Canada’s Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), which opened its office in the city-state in 2014, and South Korea’s National Pension Service. The Teacher Retirement System of Texas, better known as Texas Teachers, has expressed interest in setting up an office in the Southeast Asian country.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.