Bill Royan, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan

As head of corporate governance at Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, Bill Royan has put Vodafone chairman Sir John Bond and senior director John Buchanan on notice.

The investor group is increasingly making noise in UK boardrooms: it joined a protest against Royal Dutch Shell pay policies.

A 43-year-old former Lehman banker, Mr Royan runs “relationship investing”, putting him in charge of governance issues.

With an investment outlook over six to seven years, OTPP is often not as aggressive as many activist investors – but neither is it scared to vocalise concerns.

Mr Royan supported activist investor Knight Vinke last year, when it called for a break-up of Eni, the Italian energy group. The OTPP boasts C$96bn in net assets, and has stakes in large UK companies such as Cable & Wireless Communications, BAE Systems and Unilever.

Mr Royan returned to Toronto from New York in early 2008 – before the Lehman collapse – to take up the role at OTPP.

He graduated from the University of Calgary in 1989 and has an MBA from the University of Chicago.

He worked for RBC Dominion Securities in Toronto, and in M&A at JPMorgan in New York.

At Lehman, he worked in corporate finance and equity trading, before his timely exit. He has said that the sizeable positions that OTPP takes allows it to have “real dialogue” with companies.

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