OMERS Growth Equity taps ex-tech CEO Saar Pikar as managing director

The appointment of Pikar, who previously led HIG Growth Partners-owned CDI Technologies, increases OMERS Growth Equity’s managing directors to two.

OMERS Growth Equity, of C$97 billion ($75 billion) Canadian pension fund OMERS, this month promoted Saar Pikar to managing director, Buyouts has learned.

Pikar, who joined OMERS Growth Equity in mid-2019, was formerly an operating advisor. He took on that role after working for nearly two decades at CDI Technologies, a Toronto-based provider of tech solutions to educational institutions, including more than 12 years as the company’s CEO.

In 2010, Pikar led a management buyout of CDI and, three years later, sold majority ownership to HIG Growth Partners. Pikar continued to hold a minority equity interest. Last year, CDI was merged with Phoenix, Arizona’s Troxell Communications, a portfolio company of AEA Investors. The new business, Troxell-CDI, is today led by Erez Pikar, Saar’s brother.

Before CDI, Pikar was a vice president of business development with Techno-Trade (Canada).

Working from OMERS Growth Equity’s office in Toronto, Pikar will collaborate with investment and management teams to assess new deals and execute value-creation initiatives, according to the group’s website.

OMERS declined to comment on this story.

Pikar’s promotion brings the number of managing directors of OMERS Growth Equity to two. The other is Mark Shulgan, OMERS’ head of growth equity, who was hired in 2018 from Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.

Shulgan last year led the creation of OMERS Growth Equity as a third pillar of OMERS Private Equity. The group is focused on making long-term minority investments in mid-stage companies poised to reshape traditional industries. Targeting opportunities in healthcare, software and other sectors in North America, it is expected to eventually invest globally.

Since its launch, OMERS Growth Equity has been actively recruiting senior- and junior-level personnel, Buyouts reported last April. Recent additions include Teresa Lee, brought over in September from OMERS Private Equity as a director.

While setting up shop, OMERS Growth Equity has also been sourcing investment opportunities. The group closed two deals in 2019. It led a C$158 million financing of Toronto-based restaurant tech solutions provider TouchBistro, as well as a C$227 million financing of Quebec City-based artificial intelligence-enabled search platform Coveo.

Action Item: Learn more about OMERS Growth Equity here.