CANADA - Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement Scheme (OMERS) CEO Paul Haggis is to step down later this year after a disagreement over his role in the fund's new governance structure.

He joined the CAD40bn (€31.2bn) scheme just over three years ago.

A press statement said Haggis's departure was by "mutual agreement". However, he is understood to be unhappy about what he sees as the ‘downgrading' of the CEO's role under a new governance structure.

"When I was hired, my job was to set OMERS on the right path, build its investment presence globally and deliver strong results," he said in the statement. "We've accomplished those goals. The plan's new governance model has changed the nature of my job…. The new CEO will spend more time on the transition to the new governance model and implementing new supplemental pension plans."

The pension fund has not yet brought in a search consultant to find a replacement for Haggis, though it said it would appoint an interim leader "in the coming months", said OMERS spokeswoman Debbie Oakley.

She added that governance was "a new dimension" to the CEO's role, adding of Haggis:  "Governance is not his expertise or interest."

Oakley suggested that the successor pool was "wide open". Asked if it included overseas candidates, she said: "We operate in a global arena. Nothing is predetermined."

Haggis's departure is apparently unrelated to an ongoing regulatory investigation over the 2002 transfer of its real estate fund management business to infrastructure subsidiary Borealis.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Ontario, which makes up 40% of OMERS' membership, has also demanded that the fund account for investments including the alleged paying out of CAD100m in annual and termination fees over a 19-month period.