By David G. Barry
For the first time, OMERS Private Equity (OPE) has someone overseeing its environmental, social and governance (ESG) efforts.
Helen Rattee was appointed managing director, ESG & portfolio thematics. Rattee joins from OMERS Risk group, where she had oversight for the private markets investment risk team. That team provides independent risk analysis of private equity and infrastructure transactions and portfolios to OMERS management and board.
OPE manages investments globally on behalf of OMERS, the defined benefit pension plan for municipal employees in the Province of Ontario. As of Dec. 31, OMERS had CA$121 billion in net assets (US$92.1 billion), of which CA$19.6 billion (US$14.9 billion) was in private equity.
In her new role, Rattee will work to ensure that OPE’s portfolio is constructed and managed to mitigate risks while capitalizing on ESG opportunities. These efforts will include working collaboratively with the transaction and asset management teams throughout the investment lifecycle and helping to develop OPE’s framework for assessing the risks and opportunities associated with broader trends, such as inflation, supply chain issues and interest rates.
Rattee’s appointment comes at a time that ESG – at least in the United States – is becoming more politicized as some states up their efforts in the area and others prohibit its use in evaluating investments.
In a statement, Michael Lank, senior managing director, operations and strategy at OPE, said that Rattee “will play a crucial role in ensuring that OPE and our portfolio companies can fully realize the benefits of dynamic ESG opportunities to deliver meaningful and sustainable results for our pensioners.”
OPE has teams in Toronto, New York, London and Singapore, and invests across industrials, healthcare, business services and technology.