Former head of Canada’s largest pension fund joins Singapore firm VC

The former head of the Investment Council of Canada’s Pension Plan joins a venture capital group in Singapore, in his first role since leaving the fund following his decision to fly to Medium East to receive a Covid-19 vaccine provoked a national reaction.

Mark Machin, who renounced as executive director of the $ 356 billion fund in February, he will enter the board of Serendipity Capital on August 1st.

Serendipity, a venture capital group founded in 2020, invests in financial services, technology and climate-focused businesses and has set out in the United States to raise up to $ 250 million from a Spac focused in Asia.

“All travel must end,” he wrote in an email to CPPIB staff and seen by the Financial Times. “It has been said that it is better to travel well than to arrive. And we’re doing well. ”Machin’s mandate at the bottom officially ended last Tuesday.

Machin traveled in a personal capacity in the United Arab Emirates for a Covid-19 vaccine in February, a period of strict travel control in Canada. The trip sparked outrage, including a rebuke from Chrystia Freeland, Canada’s finance minister. “Canadians place their trust in the CPPIB and expect it to be held to a higher standard,” he said at the time.

Canada’s largest pension fund has achieved average annual returns of 11 per cent since Machin took the helm five years ago, pushing total assets from 280 billion to nearly $ 500 billion.

The financial move in Asia follows a nearly decade-long stint in various roles in CPPIB and marks a return to the region where he has spent much of his career.

Machin trained as a doctor before joining Goldman Sachs, working for most of his two decades with banking in Asia, where he became head of investment banking and vice president for ex-Japan Asia.

He left Goldman in 2012 for CPPIB, which manages investments in Canada’s Pension Plan, a pillar of the country’s retirement system with more than 20m contributors.

Machin will serve as non-executive director at Serendipity and “help guide the company’s strategy and governance,” said Robert Jesudason, chief executive.

Serendipity has invested in companies including the UK-based Cambridge Quantum Computing Company, which will soon form a joint venture with Honeywell’s quantum computing company, the US conglomerate, as well as the consulting and investment firm in change. climatic Pollination.

“It simply came to our notice then [Machin] brings tremendous investment management experience, and understands trends in that industry, ”Jesudason said, adding that Machin“ also brings deep and promising relationships to Asia Pacific ”.

Singapore has invested heavily in positioning itself as a technology and start-up center for Southeast Asia, attracting a growing number of investors. The city’s state welcomes more than “200 venture capitalists,” according to the government, and accounts for most of the investments in Southeast Asian businesses.

Investors have invested S $ 5.5 billion ($ 4.1 billion) in Singapore-based startups by 2020, nearly three times the amount invested five years ago.

More information from Stefania Palma in Singapore

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