Annette Verschuren, O.C., Chair & CEO
Known as a ‘builder’, Annette Verschuren has taken her wealth of experience and unique and well-rounded skill set in finance, operations and leadership and applied it to a diverse array of public, private and non-profit ventures throughout her career. Annette was formerly president of The Home Depot Canada and Asia, overseeing the growth of the company’s Canadian operations from 19 to 180 stores between 1996 and 2011. She also led the company’s entry into China while simultaneously leading the Expo Design Center business. Annette began her career as a development officer with the Cape Breton Development Corporation, a coal mining operation, in Sydney, Nova Scotia. She has held various executive positions with Canada Development Investment Corporation and Imasco Ltd and served as president and co-owner of Michaels of Canada. Annette sits on the board of directors for Liberty Mutual Insurance Group based in Boston, Air Canada, and Saputo. Annette serves as a member of the North American Competitiveness Council and was appointed Chair of the Ontario Clean Energy Task Force by the Province of Ontario in April 2012. Annette also gives her time as a board member to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health Foundation (CAMH) and the Conference Board of Canada. Most recently, Annette agreed to serve on the Federal Government’s Expert Panel for the Venture Capital Action Plan and recently was appointed as Chair, Annette also sits on the Board of Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. In 2011, Annette was honored as an Officer of The Order of Canada for her contribution to the retail industry and Corporate Social Responsibility. The Order of Canada is the highest civilian honor in Canada.
Sarita Mandanna, Director
Sarita has over 15 years of private equity, structured finance and investment banking experience. She has been involved in raising over USD $2 billion of debt and equity financing for companies in a wide range of industries. As an investment banker with UBS and Deutsche Bank AG, she advised companies on growth and expansion strategies, executed balance sheet restructurings and performed both buy and sell side M&A mandates in domestic and cross-border settings. While at GE Capital’s private equity and structured finance groups, Sarita sourced, evaluated, negotiated, executed and monitored debt and equity investments in early stage, mature and distressed opportunities. She worked most recently with Equifin Capital, a private equity firm in New York focused on growth and expansion investments in the US and is currently a Director of NRStor. Sarita holds an MBA from the Wharton School of Business.
Lou Serafini Jr., Director
Lou Serafini Jr. is the President and CEO of Fengate Real Asset Investments. Lou joined the Fengate group of companies in 1995 and has served as President since 2002. In this role, Lou has led the transformation of the company from a real estate property management business to an investment management firm. He oversees Fengate’s strategic direction and its investor relations program, and is responsible for the executive management of the company’s operations. Lou is a member of Fengate’s Investment Committee and sits on the Board of the General Partners to each fund.
In 2000, Lou led the launch of the first fund managed by the Fengate group of companies – a commercial real estate fund focused on southwestern Ontario. In 2005, Lou formed Fengate Capital Management Ltd., a specialized asset management firm targeting alternative assets. With the launch of Fengate’s first infrastructure fund in 2006, he has successfully led the growth of Fengate from a niche asset manager to one of Canada’s leading alternative asset management firms.
Lou is a member of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Council of Public-Private Partnerships, the Board of Directors of Horizon Utilities Corporation and the Hamilton Utilities Corporation, and is a member of the Young Presidents Organization. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Finance and a Master of Business Administration from McMaster University. In 2014, Lou was selected as a finalist in Ontario for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year™ award.
Neil Petroff, Director
Neil J. Petroff was an Executive Vice President of Investments and Chief Investment Officer at Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan since 2009, and previously served as Senior Vice President of Investments since 2008. Mr. Petroff served as Senior Vice President of International Equity Indexes, Fixed Income, and Alternative Investments at Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and also served as its Vice-President of International Equities Indexes, Fixed Income, and Foreign Exchange since 1997; and Vice President of Core International since 1995. He was responsible for the management of major asset classes and portfolios including the public equities, private capital, fixed income, infrastructure, tactical asset allocation, foreign exchange, commodities, and alternative investment portfolios. Mr. Petroff was responsible for all aspects of firm’s investment activities as well as the pension fund’s asset-mix and risk allocations, and its real estate portfolio managed by its subsidiary. He joined it in 1993. Mr. Petroff has been a Member of the executive management team for its Investment Division for 12 years. He worked at The Royal Trust Company and Guaranty Trust Bank Plc. Mr. Petroff began his career in investing at the Bank of Nova Scotia. He has been Vice Chairman of Northwater Capital Management Inc. since October 1, 2015. Mr. Petroff serves on several corporate and charitable boards including Maple Partners Bankhaus GmbH, the Integra Foundation, and Samsung Investment Trust Management Co. Ltd. Mr. Petroff has been a Director of SeaCube Container Leasing Ltd. since April 24, 2013. He served as a Director at The Cadillac Fairview Corporation Limited. He served as Director at Efficient Capital Corporation. He served as a Director of Maple Financial Group Inc. Mr. Petroff has been recognized for innovative hedge fund portfolio management. He earned an M.B.A. and a B.B.A. from York University.
Kim Warren, Director
During his time at the IESO Mr. Warren held positions including Vice President of Market and System Operations and Chief Operating Officer, Director of Planning and Assessments, Manager of Regulatory Affairs and Manager of System Operations. Mr. Warren was responsible for areas such as the management of the IESO administered markets, directing the operation of the power grid, interconnected system operations, renewable integration, coal retirements and IESO activities surrounding alternative technologies.
He was also an active member on numerous industry based working groups, chairing several, including the North American Electric Reliability Corporation, the Northeast Power Coordinating Council and the Canadian Electricity Association.
Mr. Warren was also a Director on the Board for the Northeast Power Coordinating Council (NPCC) from 2014 to 2016.