OTPP poaches Khazanah’s investment head to lead Asia strategy

Datuk Ben Chan will relocate from Beijing to Hong Kong for the role of a regional managing director at the Canadian pension.

Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan has hired Datuk Ben Chan, currently the co-head of investments at Malaysian sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional, as its regional managing director.

OTPP has been without a head of Asia-Pacific since January 2017, when then-regional MD Nicole Musicco returned to Toronto to head the pension’s public equities unit. Jo Taylor, senior managing director international at OTPP has been serving as the interim head of Asia-Pacific at OTPP since Musicco’s departure, splitting his time between London and Hong Kong, Private Equity International understands.

Chan will carry out his duties at Khazanah until the end of April.

With this role at OTPP, Chan will relocate from Beijing to Hong Kong and start work at the pension fund on 1 June. His main responsibility is to lead and grow OTPP’s investments in the region and support its portfolio of international companies looking to expand their footprint in Asia, Taylor said in a statement.

Asia, Australia and New Zealand made up 6 percent of its OTPP’s C$175.5 billion ($135 billion; €109 billion) portfolio, according to its 2016 annual report. The pension has been investing in the region since 1991 and established its Asia office in Hong Kong in 2013. It has backed managers such as MBK Partners, FountainVest Partners and Kedaara Capital, according to PEI data.

Chan has been with the Khazanah since June 2005. He led the effort to establish Khazanah’s presence in China, which led to the opening of its Beijing office in 2008, the investor said in statement.

He was previously director of research at several investment houses in Malaysia and Singapore. Earlier in his career, he was head of China research with Cazenove & Co and ING Barings, based in Hong Kong, according to his profile on Khazanah’s website.

Bryan Lim, director of investments and head of Khazanah’s regional office in Beijing will take over Chan’s post. He will also be responsible for the investor’s Korea and Japan portfolio.

– Adalla Kim contributed to this report.