Industry Announcements

Blair Richards begins new chapter at Halifax Port ILA/HEA pension plan

After 20 years and six months as chief executive officer at the Halifax Port ILA/HEA pension plan, Blair Richards is starting a new chapter.

On July 1, 2020 he became the plan’s chief investment officer, under contract until Dec. 31, 2023. David Cranston, an internal hire, took over as chief executive officer.

Blair Richards began working on the Halifax waterfront more than forty years ago in 1979. He joined the International Longshoremen’s Association, Local 1341 in 1984 and is still a member in good standing today.

He worked on behalf of his local and the ILA in labour and industrial relations as an executive member for approximately 15 years. In 1992, he became the first chairman of a newly formed board of trustees responsible for pensions and benefits on a mandate between the employers’ association and the union. He served in the Chair position from inception in September 1992 until Dec. 31, 1999 and on Jan. 1, 2000, Richards became chief executive officer of the organization.

In addition to Richard’s new role as CIO, he is a currently a director at the Workers’ Compensation Board of Nova Scotia and has been in this role since May 30, 2019. He is also a board member and treasurer for a non-profit classical music organization.


In Memoriam: Sandra Nuttall

Sandra Nuttall passed away on July 5, 2020 due to complications from dementia.
Sandra had a long career in the pension industry – a consultant at Towers Perrin, head of pensions at Moore Corporation and, until her retirement in 2011, President of AllianceBernstein Canada. During this time she was a member of the Toronto CFA Society, PIAC and ACPM.

She loved the industry and her job. She had a hard time with the decision to retire but finally decided to get to her bucket list of travel, diving and volunteer work.

Sandra is remembered fondly by everyone for her professionalism, intelligence , humour and kindness to all. She will be very much missed by her family, friends and the professionals in our industry who she worked with and so positively impacted.


In Memoriam: M. Ann Marshall

M. Ann Marshall, a female trailblazer in the Canadian institutional investment industry and the former president of James P. Marshall Inc., an independent pension consulting firm, passed away on June 6, 2020. Marshall was well-known within the industry because of a storied career that showcased her courage and tenacity as well as her generous spirit. She took over the firm from her husband James P. Marshall in January 1979 just six years after it was founded after he died prematurely at the age of 44. Pension consulting was a fledgling industry at the time that aided many Canadian funds in taking their first steps outside of bond investments into equities. Having started her career as a high school English teacher, with on the job training, as well as support from partner Andrew Smith, this single parent of two young children built the company into a national firm. As well as being an example and mentor to young women in the investment business, Marshall was also ahead of her time as a promoter of the “G” in the environmental, social and governance space. She was noted for taking money managers to task on executive compensation and in actively voting proxies in shareholder interests. James P. Marshall was sold to U.S.-based Hewitt in 2000 and Marshall retired in 2006.

Contex Group Inc.