The Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS) is a pension fund created by statute in 1962 to handle the retirement benefits of all local government employees in the Canadian province of Ontario. It has become one of the largest institutional investors in Canada.[1] As of December 2018, OMERS had 97 billion Canadian dollars in net investment assets.[2] OMERS serves 1,000 participating employers and almost half a million active, deferred and retired employees. OMERS members are employed by municipalities, school boards, transit systems, electrical utilities, emergency services and children's aid societies.[1]

Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System
IndustryPension funds
Founded1962 (1962) (original)
2006 (2006) (current)
Area served
Province of Ontario and nationwide
Key people
Michael Latimer
(Chief Executive Officer)
George Cooke
(Board Chair, Administration Corporation)
Paul Harrietha
(Chief Executive Officer, Sponsors Corporation)
Frank Ramagnano and Barry Brown
(Board Co-Chairs, Sponsors Corporation)
Total assetsC$97 billion
(December 2018)
DivisionsOMERS Infrastructure
OMERS Capital Markets
OMERS Private Equity
Oxford Properties


OMERS is governed by the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement Act, 2006, an Ontario law which superseded the older Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System Act.

Under the 2006 law, OMERS is composed of two corporations:

  • The Administration Corporation provides strategic, risk and operational management in serving Plan members and employers, collecting contributions and paying pensions, and investing the Plan funds.[3]
  • The Sponsors Corporation provides strategic and risk oversight, and decision-making with regard to designing pension benefits, setting contribution levels, and determining the composition of the two OMERS Boards.[3]


OMERS has four major investment divisions:[2]

  • OMERS Infrastructure, which invests in public infrastructure
  • OMERS Capital Markets, which manages investment in the public markets, such as government bonds and stock in publicly traded companies
  • OMERS Private Equity, which concentrates on private equity investment
  • Oxford Properties, which owns real estate such as office buildings and shopping centres

OMERS Infrastructure

OMERS strategy has been to invest in a global portfolio of high-quality assets.[4]

Outline of OMERS Infrastructure assets:[5]

  • Associated British Ports — handles nearly a quarter of the U.K.'s seaborne trade by weight as its largest ports group, highly diversified through ownership of ports across England, Scotland and Wales
  • Alectra — (2.96%) municipal electricity utility serving over one million customers in Alliston, Aurora, Barrie, Beeton, Brampton, Bradford, Guelph, Hamilton, Markham, Mississauga, Penetanguishene, Richmond Hill, Rockwood, St. Catharines, Thornton, Tottenham and Vaughan
  • BridgeTex — a crude oil pipeline providing critical market access to growing crude oil production in the Permian Basin in West Texas, with approximately 440,000 barrels per day of capacity delivered into the Gulf Coast refinery and export markets via Houston, Texas
  • Bruce Power — Canada's only private sector nuclear generator and the world's largest nuclear operating site, generating approximately one-third of its electricity from its 6,300 MW facility
  • CannAmm — the leading provider of drug and alcohol testing and occupational health services in Canada
  • Caruna — Finland's largest electricity distribution network supplying almost 635,000 customers with 12,600 TWh of electricity distributed annually
  • Ciel Satellite Group — provides a full range of affordable satellite services to customers throughout North, Central and South America
  • Chicago Skyway — manages, operates and maintains the 12.5-kilometre (7.8-mile) Chicago Skyway toll road under a concession agreement which runs until 2104
  • CLH — provides refined oil products transportation and storage in Spain and the U.K. through a network of thousands of kilometres of pipelines and storage facilities
  • Confederation Bridge — a 12.9-km bridge providing the only permanent transportation infrastructure between New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island
  • Detroit River Tunnel — the DRTP owns a cross-border rail tunnel linking Detroit, Michigan and southwestern Ontario - a vital transportation link for commercial freight between the U.S. and Canada in the critical transportation corridor between the Port of Montreal and Chicago
  • DynaLife — an Edmonton-based medical laboratory offering a complete range of diagnostic testing services throughout northern and central Alberta. DynaLife processes more than 18 million tests annually in the province of Alberta.
  • Ellevio — Sweden's second largest electricity distributor supplying approximately 900,000 customers
  • GNL Quintero — LNG regasification terminal supplying all the gas consumed in Santiago, Chile and surrounding region
  • Indinfravit — holds a portfolio of five operational toll road concessions in India. The five roads operate in some of India's most economically vibrant states and support the country's growing economy.
  • Leeward Renewable Energy — a diversified 1.7-gigawatt portfolio of 19 operating windfarms across nine U.S. states
  • Long Term Care Facilities — OMERS owns 12 long-term care facilities in Ontario, which are managed by experienced long-term care operators on behalf of OMERS
  • LifeLabs — Canada's largest community laboratory services provider, performing more than 100 million lab tests annually serving 19 million patients
  • London City Airport — the closest airport to Central London, located seven miles from the City of London financial district and three miles from the Canary Warf financial centre
  • MapleCo / SGN Smart — MapleCo funds the purchase and installation of gas and electricity smart meters under long-term rental contractors with U.K. energy supply companies
  • MCV — America's largest natural gas-fired combined heat and power plant with a 1,600+ MW electricity capacity, and 1.5 million pounds per hour process steam production capacity
  • NET4GAS — Exclusive gas transmission system operator in the Czech Republic, operating more than 3,800 km of pipelines and transporting 45 billion m3 of natural gas annually
  • NextBridge Infrastructure — NextBridge is a partnership between OMERS Infrastructure, NextEra Energy and Enbridge established to develop a 450-km regulated transmission line in northern Ontario
  • Niagara Health System — Niagara Health System is a 375-bed acute care hospital facility located in St. Catherines, Ontario, which was built under a design, construct, finance, operate and maintain contract structure awarded by the Government of Ontario in 2009
  • New Jersey Lottery — OMERS is an investor in Northstar New Jersey Lotteries, which holds a 15-year contract to manage and operate the New Jersey lottery
  • Nova Scotia Schools — OMERS is the owner of 16 public schools in Nova Scotia, which have been leased to the Province through 2020
  • Oncor — the largest transmission and distribution company in Texas, providing electricity to more than 10 million customers via more than 119,000 miles (191,000 km) of transmission and distribution lines
  • Port of Melbourne — Australia's largest container and multi-cargo port. With 36 commercial berths, the Port is visited by more than 3,000 ships per year
  • Royal Ottawa Hospital — a 188-bed mental health care centre located in Ottawa, Ontario, which was built under a design, construct, finance, operate and maintain contract structure awarded by the Government of Ontario in 2003
  • Scotia Gas Networks — The U.K.'s second largest gas distribution network, supplying approximately 5.8 million residential, commercial and industrial consumers in Scotland and Southeast England
  • Tank & Rast — Germany's largest owner and concessionaire of a network of motorway service areas, providing essential services to 500 million visitors each year
  • Teranet — The exclusive provider of essential, statutory electronic property search and registration services under long-term concessions in the provinces of Ontario and Manitoba
  • Thames Water — The largest water utility in England and Wales, providing services to approximately 9 million water and 15 million wastewater customers across London and the Thames Valley
  • Vento II — a 49% interest in a portfolio of four U.S. wind farms located in Minnesota, Illinois, Oregon and Texas, with a total nameplate capacity of 599 megawatss
  • William Osler Health System — a 608-bed, full-service community hospital located in Brampton, Ontario, which was built under a design, construct, finance, operate and maintain contract structure awarded by the Government of Ontario in 2003

OMERS Private Equity

Among the private companies OPE owns are Marketwired (purchased at the end of 2006)[6] and Oxford Properties (purchased at the beginning of 2003).[7]

OMERS and Apax Partners (a fund OMERS invests in) jointly own Cengage Learning, a large education resource company formerly known as Thomson Learning before OMERS and Apax Partners bought it on May 11, 2007. Some parts of Thomson Learning had been sold off to other groups before this sale. Among Cengage's major brands are Gale (formerly Thomson Gale) and Nelson Education (Nelson Canada, not Nelson USA Education).

Outline of OPE assets:[8]

  • Alexander Mann Solutions — a worldwide provider of total workforce solutions, serving more than 100 blue-chip clients in over 90 countries
  • Caliber Collision Centers — collision repair operators in the U.S., with a network of more than 600 centres
  • CBI Health Group — Canadian provider of community health care services, with more than 10,000 staff and associates
  • CEDA — provides specialized industrial and maintenance services to customers in both Canada and the U.S.
  • Epiq Systems Global Solutions — provides legal services to support litigation and administrative needs in North America, Asia, and Europe
  • ERM — providers of environmental, health, safety, risk and social consulting, and sustainability-related services, with more than 160 offices in 40 countries
  • Forefront Dermatology — delivers medical dermatology, fully integrated surgery and pathology services through more than 130 clinics across 16 U.S. states
  • Inmar — provider of technology-enabled processing, settlement and logistic services, Inmar serves approximately 11,000 customers worldwide
  • Kenan Advantage — provides transportation and logistics services to the fuel, chemical, liquid food and merchant gas sectors in the U.S. and Canada
  • Lifeways — one of the U.K.'s leading providers of support services for people with diverse and often complex needs in community settings
  • National Veterinary Associates — the largest independent operator and consolidator of locally branded veterinary clinics and pet boarding facilities in North America, Australia and New Zealand
  • Paradigm — headquartered in Walnut Creek, California and with offices across the U.S., Paradigm is an industry leader in solving complex healthcare challenges and improving lives
  • Premise Health — one of the largest direct-access care networks in the U.S.
  • FR:Groupe trescal — a global specialist provider of calibration services, with approximately 3,300 employees working from 130 labs across 22 countries
  • V.Group — a global maritime service provider, V.Group specializes in the outsourced technical management of high-value maritime assets
  • Vue Cinemas — an international cinema operator with more than 2,400 screens located at over 285 sites across 10 European countries

OMERS Ventures

OMERS Ventures investments include:[9]

  • 360insights — SaaS platform for large manufacturers to launch and execute flexible incentive programs throughout their entire sales channel
  • Contentful — Contentful provides the essential content infrastructure for digital products and experiences, making content accessible via APIs and editable in an intuitive web app
  • Crunchbase - a platform for finding business information about private and public companies
  • D2L — D2L provides next generation learning environment and solutions to engage and inspire lifelong learners
  • Digital Currency Group — DCG owns and operates four key lines of business in trading, asset management, bitcoin-related news, and investments
  • DogVacay (acquired by — leading online service connecting pet owners with more than 30,000 sitters across the U.S. and Canada
  • DuckDuckGo is an internet privacy company that empowers users to seamlessly take control of their personal information online, without any tradeoffs.[10]
  • Felix & Paul Studios focuses on the creation of high-end cinematic virtual reality experiences
  • Fusebill is a subscription billing company that automates invoicing, billing and collection of subscription revenue for small and meium-sized businesses
  • Hootsuite is a social media management platform for consumers and businesses to execute campaigns across multiple social networks [11]
  • Hopper — a mobile application that analyzes billions of flights to help find the best deals and the best time to buy, saving customers both time and money
  • Jobber — an on-demand, cloud-based resource planning platform that assists mobile field service professionals with quoting and estimating, managing customer relationships
  • Kaleo — Kaleo operates an online prediction knowledge sharing platform that allows users to connect to other knowledge workers in an organization to extract, contribute and share information
  • Klipfolio — Klipfolio is a software platform for building and sharing real-time dashboards to continuously optimize business metrics
  • Klue — Klue provides a continuously updated lens into a competitor's world, connecting dots to help companies win more business
  • LeadSift — LeadSift identifies high-quality sales prospects, using purchase intent data gathered from the web and social media, and augments this data to provide its customers with actionable leads
  • Manifold — Manifold is on a mission to reduce the complexity of building and deploying applications with micro-services and third-party infrastructure services
  • Mojix — Mojix delivers large-scale Internet-of-Things solutions through its state-of-the-art IoT software and RFID hardware solutions
  • Muse — a Toronto-based innovator in the field of brain-sensing technology. Muse, the flagship Interaxon product, is a brainwave sensing computing hardware platform that provides innovative solutions for new products and services using a brain-computer interface.
  • Nudge — Nudge is a modern sales platform that uses artificial intelligence to find actionable insights on a company's target accounts
  • OB1 is the company leading developer of OpenBazaar, the world's first widely-used decentralized marketplace. The company is building technologies that help give users around the world more control over their online trade.
  • RANOVUS builds optical transceiver communications hardware products used in high-speed communications in telecom networks and data centers
  • — founded in 2011 and based in Seattle, Washington, Rover is the nation's most trusted network of pet sitters and dog walkers
  • TouchBistro Inc. – an iPad POS built for restaurant people, by restaurant people – with every feature designed to meet the unique needs and fast pace of the food service industry. TouchBistro has powered more than 12,000 restaurants in over 100 countries and helps restaurateurs run better businesses, and makes managing a restaurant easier.
  • Vidyard — video marketing platform for businesses, consumer brands, and content producers to host and analyze online videos
  • Vision Critical develops software solutions for online market research, providing access to real-time metrics to get a pulse on the market
  • Wattpad — a global multiplatform entertainment company for original stories
  • Wave provides small businesses with applications for accounting, payroll, invoicing, payments and personal finance services
  • Xanadu — a quantum technologies company powered by light. Xanadu designs and integrates quantum silicon photonic chips into existing hardware to create truly full-stack quantum capacity

OMERS Ventures exited investments include

  • Shopify — e-commerce platform - OMERS Ventures invested in 2013.[12] The company IPO'd in 2015.[13]

See also


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