Some great news for Ontario, and the national startup community, today. We are hearing from multiple sources that John Ruffolo will be joining OMERS as Senior Vice President of Knowledge Investing. He will start in the position on January 3rd 2011.
This position, which is focused on managing direct Venture Capital investments, has been the subject of speculation since OMERS announced that they planned to take a similar direct investment model with Venture Capital as they have with Private Equity deals, which has been a successful model for them so far. Pension and other labour sponsored funds like OMERS have historically taken Limited Partner positions in third-party funds (the VC funds you know and love already) and this hands-on approach is unique in Canada.
John Ruffolo was previously a Managing Partner at Deloitte’s Toronto office and he conducted the survey of Canadian VC GPs that we wrote about earlier.
John’s reputation is positive and his knowledge of both the past and current startup and Venture Capital environment in Canada is unique. It is great to see things moving ahead in the development of a new capital source for startups in Canada.