Investment Staff

Jeff Norton 2016 cropped JLJeff Norton, B.Sc. (Eng), LLM, CFA
President & CEO
Chief Investment Officer

Jeff is responsible for the overall operations of TRAF, including investment activity. Prior to initially joining TRAF in 2005, Jeff was President of Assante Global Advisors Inc., an investment management firm based in Los Angeles, California.

Jeff holds two degrees from the University of Manitoba (Industrial Engineering, 1986, Gold Medalist; Law, 1989, Dean's Honour List), as well as a Master of Laws degree from the London School of Economics. Jeff is also a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) charterholder.

Jeff is actively involved in the community, and currently sits on the Board of the Jewish Foundation of Manitoba and is Chair of its Investment Committee. He is also Chair of the Treasury Risk Oversight Committee for the Province of Manitoba, a member of the Investment Committee for the Winnipeg Civic Employees' Benefit Program and serves on the Complaints Investigations Committee for the Chartered Professional Accountants of Manitoba. Within the pension industry, Jeff has served as a director of both the Association of Canadian Pension Management (ACPM) and the Pension Investment Association of Canada. Currently, Jeff serves on the Executive Committee of ACPM.

David Asselstine cropped 2019David Asselstine, CPA, CA.IFA, CFE
Senior Vice President & Chief Financial Officer
Chief Risk Officer

David works closely with the investment team, the Board and the Investment Committee in establishing an appropriate investment risk appetite, an appropriate investment strategy, and the prudent design and execution of the investment program.

David has over 20 years of experience as a financial expert. Prior to joining TRAF, he was the President of Infocus Forensic Financial Investigations Ltd. where he served as a forensic accountant and financial expert. His clients have included, among others, the International Monetary Fund, local and national governments, numerous foreign governments, an independent and historic public inquiry, municipal and national police forces, and various public regulatory bodies. On five occasions, David has testified as an expert witness in criminal tribunals dealing with such matters as investment fraud and other white-collar crime matters.

Graeme Hay, CPA, CMA, CFA
Vice President, Investments

Graeme is involved in all aspects of TRAF's investment program, including investment strategy, manager selection and monitoring. Prior to TRAF, he was a member of the investment team of Wellington West Asset Management, the internal portfolio management unit of one of Canada's largest independent brokerages. In this role, he carried out fundamental research for the firm's equity portfolios and participated in asset allocation decisions for the firm's multi-asset class mutual funds. He also led the firm's research effort on external investment managers employed across the firm.

Graeme began his investment career as a senior analyst in the asset-liability management unit of Great-West Life where he was involved in managing risk for the company's pension annuity line of business. Graeme is a Certified Management Accountant (CMA), having earned the Robert Syme Memorial Silver Medal and is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) charterholder. He is a Past President of the CFA Society of Winnipeg. He also serves on the Board of the Pension Investment Association of Canada (PIAC), CPA Manitoba Foundation and the Investment Committee of the Manitoba Museum Pension Trust Fund.

Russell Olivson resizedRussell Olivson, CFA
Portfolio Manager

Russell is responsible for various aspects of TRAF's investment program with a focus on implementing the global real estate and real estate debt asset class mandates. This includes developing and maintaining a long-term strategy for these asset classes, leading the selection of external managers, portfolio monitoring, and the evaluation of co-investment opportunities.

Prior to TRAF, Russell was the Director of Investments and Analysis for Longboat Development Corporation, a Winnipeg-based real estate development firm, where he was responsible for all investing and financing activities within the organization. Russell played a key role in the development of several office, retail and residential projects, as well as overseeing a portfolio of assets within the city of Winnipeg.

Russell began his investment career as an an Investment Analyst for Canwest Media Inc., a former media conglomerate based in Winnipeg, where he provided analytical support to value newspaper, television, and radio assets. Russell holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the Asper School of Business at the University of Manitoba and is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) charterholder.

M Kurtas 2016Michael Kurtas, CFA
Senior Investment Analyst

Michael participates in all aspects of TRAF's private market activities, including the evaluation and monitoring of fund commitments and other investments for the private equity, private debt and infrastructure asset class mandates. Prior to joining TRAF, Michael was a Manager, Commercial Banking at CIBC where he was responsible for a diversified book of client accounts. In this role, he carried out transaction sourcing, diligence and execution functions. Michael has a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Winnipeg and is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) charterholder. He is currently pursuing an MBA at the University of Manitoba.

Brett Tessler 34 2156 X3039 sizeBrett Tessler, CFA
Senior Investment Analyst

Brett participates in all aspects of TRAF’s public market investment activities, with a focus on the evaluation and monitoring of external investment managers for the public equity and public fixed income asset classes. Prior to joining TRAF, Brett was a Corporate Finance Analyst, at Investors Group. In this role, he was responsible for and supported analytical activities related to the firm’s pension plan, corporate investments and M&A activity. Brett has a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) degree from the Asper School of Business at the University of Manitoba, majoring in Finance and Entrepreneurship and is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) charterholder. Brett also serves on the Board of Directors of CFA Society Winnipeg.