Head Of Canada Pension Plan Investments Resigns After Traveling Abroad

The chief executive of the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) has resigned after it was revealed that he traveled to the United Arab Emirates and arranged to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Mark Machin tendered his resignation as head of the fund that manages Canada Pension Plan investments after sending a memo to staff in which he said he received a COVID-19 vaccination while on a "very personal" trip to Dubai.

Machin added that he remains in Dubai with his partner "for many reasons, some of which are deeply personal."

Machin told staff he followed all travel protocols related to his role as head of the pension fund while on the trip. "This trip was intended to be very private and I am disappointed it has become the focus of public attention and expected criticism," he wrote.

The federal government is actively discouraging Canadians from travelling abroad and recently implemented stricter quarantine measures for those returning home from overseas.

Several high profile politicians and health-care officials have become high-profile flashpoints in recent months for leaving the country despite public health advice to the contrary.

A spokesperson for federal Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said that while CPPIB is an independent organization, the revelation is "very troubling."

The fund's board has appointed John Graham as its new chief executive officer. Graham was previously its global head of credit investments.

CPP Investments, which had $475.7 billion in assets under management as of December 31, 2020, invests money on behalf of retired and active employees covered by the Canada Pension Plan.

Machin joined CPP Investments in 2012 and was appointed president and chief executive officer in 2016. Before joining the pension fund manager, he spent 20 years at investment bank Goldman Sachs.