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Oct 16

Pensions: What’s Next for the Maple Revolutionaries?

Toronto ON, 67 Yonge Street, Suite 300

Roundtable Luncheon with Jim Leech and Barbara Zvan

C.D. Howe Institute events and webinars are open to members and their guests.

Please follow this link or contact amalev@cdhowe.org to register.


Jim Leech, Former President and Chief Executive Officer, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan

Jim Leech retired as President and CEO of the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan, one of the world’s largest and most innovative pension funds, in 2014. During his tenure as CEO, Ontario Teachers’ was ranked first in the world for investment returns and service to members. In addition, the pension plan eliminated its funding deficit and is currently in surplus. Prior to his appointment as CEO, Mr. Leech headed Ontario Teachers’ Private Capital, the pension plan’s international private investing arm. 

For the past decade, Mr. Leech has focused on philanthropic leadership and non-partisan public service. He is Chancellor Emeritus of Queen’s University, Chair Emeritus of the UHN Foundation, Special Advisor to McKinsey & Company, Advisory Board Chair of the Institute for Sustainable Finance and Board member of Historica Canada. Mr. Leech is former board Chair of the Mastercard Foundation.

In 2013, Mr. Leech co-authored The Third Rail, Confronting our Pension Failures, a best-selling book that received the 2013-2014 Best Canadian Business Book Award. 

Mr. Leech was appointed Special Advisor to the Ontario Minister of Finance to review the province’s electricity sector pension sustainability in 2014. In 2017, he was appointed Special Advisor to the Prime Minister of Canada to assist the federal government in establishing the Canada Infrastructure Bank.

Mr. Leech was invested as a Member of the Order of Canada for his contributions to Canada as an innovator in pension management, for his writings on the subject of retirement funding, and for his community involvement and as a member of the Order of Ontario. He was also awarded the Canadian Decoration for his meritorious military service. 

Mr. Leech holds a B.Sc. (Honours Math and Physics) and Honorary Doctor of Laws from the Royal Military College of Canada and an MBA from Queen's University. He is also a graduate of the Institute of Corporate Directors.

Barbara Zvan, President and Chief Executive Officer, University Pension Plan Ontario

Barbara is responsible for realizing UPP’s strategies to deliver valuable, lifelong pension security and service excellence to UPP’s over 39,000 members while establishing UPP as the pension solution of choice for Ontario’s university community.

Formerly the Chief Risk and Strategy Officer for the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, Barb is globally recognized as a leading voice on sustainable investing and an ambassador for defined benefit pensions. She was named Canada’s CEO of the Year and Corporate Citizen of the Year 2022 by the Globe and Mail’s Report on Business magazine in honour of her contributions and leadership in both areas.

A sought-after responsible investing expert, Barb was appointed to the Government of Canada’s Expert Panel on Sustainable Finance in 2018 and is an inaugural member of the Sustainable Finance Action Council, which launched in 2021. On the global stage, Barb played a significant role in creating the G7 Investor Leadership Network and was named one of 26 Climate Champions by British High Commission in Canada and the Canada Climate Law Initiative ahead of COP 26 in 2021.

She also serves on the boards of various global organizations including the Responsible Investment Association, Climate Engagement Canada, and the advisory board of the Institute of Sustainable Finance at the Smith School of Business.

She holds a master’s degree in Math and Statistics from the University of Waterloo and a Bachelor of Science degree from McMaster University. She is a fellow of the C.D. Howe Institute, a member of the Institute of Corporate Directors, a Fellow of Canadian Institute of Actuaries (FCIA) and a Fellow of Society of Actuaries (FSA).

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