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Business Analysis & Features

Spotlight On: Jo Taylor, Head of the London office of Teachers' Private Capital

He looks a bit like he should be in a classroom but what is Teachers' Private Capital?

Teachers' is part of the powerful Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan, a huge Canadian pension fund that is one of the world's biggest fund managers. It has C$107.5bn (£68.3bn)in assets, and has just appointed Jo Taylor to run its office in London.

So he's a teacher?

Certainly not. Mr Taylor is a red-in-tooth-and-claw private-equity man who spent more than 20 years with 3i Group. He has a degree from London University and an MBA from Manchester Business School.

So being head of the London office involves what exactly?

Well, Teachers' has a whopping £2bn of UK investments including Camelot UK Lotteries, HS1 rail network, Birmingham and Bristol international airports, Scotia Gas Networks and Thomas More Square. He'll be responsible for "sourcing, negotiating and executing investments ranging between C$100m and C$300m".

Who knew Canadian teachers had such clout?

Indeed – and Mr Taylor's role isn't just about London. Heis Teachers' senior representative for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

So this Teachers' fund must be pretty cuddly if it represents 295,000 current and retired teaching folk?

Cuddly it ain't. Teachers' has won an enviable reputation as a tough-talking and outspoken critic of corporate excess.

Is Teachers' any good at making money?

It claims an average annualised return of close to 20 per cent from private equity in 20 years.

Hey, that sounds as good, if not better, than 3i has achieved in the past couple of torrid years

No wonder Mr Taylor moved, then.