CPPIB bulks up its SF office, taps McKinsey consultant to support US growth

Judy Wade and Adam Grosser joins CPPIB in its San Francisco office, a key locale for the pension fund as it sources investment opportunities and deepens relationships in the world’s leading innovation hub.

The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board last week announced it had recruited Judy Wade as managing director and head of San Francisco to support its growth in the US, particularly the tech center in nearby Silicon Valley.

Wade joins from McKinsey & Company, where she was most recently a venture leader for three years, leading the consultancy’s practice in serving pre-IPO companies and their investors. Before that, her background included serving as CEO for two tech companies, Hands-On Entertainment and AliveCor.

The Canadian pension also announced that joining the San Francisco team as a senior advisor is Adam Grosser, who previously was managing director and group head at private equity firm Silver Lake. Prior to that he was a general partner at the venture firm Foundation Capital.

Both Wade and Grosser began their stints at CPPIB at the beginning of the month.

Wade wasn’t available for questions, but she joins CPPIB as the firm bulks up its venture practice and reportedly aims to invest up to $1 billion in North American and European funds.

Last year, CPPIB rolled out its venture strategy and in August opened an office in San Francisco, marking its second US locale after New York. In branching out to the US West Coast last year, CPPIB recruited Monica Adractas – a veteran of Workplace and Facebook – to head its venture capital funds program out of San Francisco.

In January, Venture Capital Journal reported that CPPIB, Canada’s largest pension fund with net assets of C$410 billion ($309 billion; €279 billion), has made commitments to three Silicon Valley-based fund managers. A CPPIB official at the time declined to identify those funds.

Those undisclosed commitments follow others made by CPPIB. They include a $50 million investment in the $350 million Fund II of AI-focused VC firm Radical Ventures, made early last year. CPPIB also in late 2018 put C$70 million to work in the C$300 million Northleaf Venture Catalyst Fund II, a fund of funds managed by Northleaf Capital Partners.