Liberals tap former pension fund CEO to help build new infrastructure bank
Jim Leech of the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan addresses the audience at the 18th annual CEO of the Year Award presented by CPRS Toronto, Monday, January 24, 2011, in Toronto. (CPRS Toronto / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
The Canadian Press
Published Friday, February 10, 2017 10:30AM EST
OTTAWA -- The former head of one of the country's largest pension funds is being tapped to help build a new federal infrastructure bank.
The Liberals are naming Jim Leech as a special adviser to help design the proposed arm's-length lending machine that could leverage billions in public money and turn it into new highways, bridges and transit projects.
The Liberals plan to infuse the bank with $35 billion in funding to financially backstop projects, with the details of how it will work to be outlined in this year's federal budget.
The government says Leech will guide the bank's implementation team and help recruit board members.
The former head of the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan has experience investing pension money in profit-generating infrastructure projects.
The Liberals hope that large pension funds like the teachers' plan will invest in the bank, which will use federal funds to attract private- sector dollars for major projects, possibly generating $4 to $5 in private funding for every $1 of federal money.