Ontario Teachers’ invests in supply chain company, announces CFO to retire

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Logistics chain concept. From customer shopping (purchase) over transportation (delivery, cargo) to customer scheme. © Jakub Jirsák /123RF Stock PhotosThe Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan is leading a US$50 million series c funding round for Calgary-based 3D robotics supply chain company, Attabotics.

The company uses a combination of robotic shuttles and vertical storage to improve upon traditional supply-chain logistics. “Inspired by ant colonies, Attabotics condenses a traditional warehouse into a single, vertical storage structure,” noted a press release. “Inside the structure, robotic shuttles move in three-dimensional space (X, Y, and Z axes) to store and deliver goods to workers on the perimeter that pick, pack and ship modern commerce orders. Attabotics’ single structure also significantly reduces a retailer’s warehouse footprint (by up to 85 per cent), allowing them to place warehouses closer to cities for faster delivery times and save money on real estate.”

The Ontario Teachers’ is making the investment through the Teachers’ Innovation Platform, along with existing investor Honeywell International Inc. Attabotics intends to use the funding to accelerate its commercial deployment, invest in new technologies and further scale its manufacturing operations, noted the release.

“We are excited by the opportunity to become a long-term investor because we believe in Attabotics’ differentiated technology and highly skilled team and how this combination is poised to disrupt existing cube storage solutions currently available in the market,” said Olivia Steedman, senior managing director of TIP at the Ontario Teachers’.

In personnel news, the Ontario Teachers’ chief financial officer, David McGraw, will be retiring in the summer of 2021 after 16 years with the plan.

“David has had a substantial impact across the fund and played a key role in helping us become a world-class pension plan,” said Jo Taylor, president and chief executive officer of the Ontario Teachers’, in a press release. “He has also enabled the business by creating strong oversight and governance processes and using analytics and insights to enhance our financial decision-making tools and capabilities.”

McGraw joined the plan in 2004, since which time he’s helped the plan’s assets grow by more than $120 billion, contributing many changes to its approach to financial reporting and valuations. He’s also been a board members and audit committee chair for several of the Ontario Teachers’ portfolio companies both at home and abroad.

“It’s been a true honour to have seen our plan continue to evolve and grow over the years,” said McGraw. “What’s continued to inspire me is our employees’ commitment to our mission of providing excellent service and retirement security to our members. It’s the driving force behind all we do and part of what makes Ontario Teachers’ such a unique place to work.”

The plan has started its search for the next CFO.

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