The University of British Columbia’s Board of Governors has approved the appointment of Peter Smailes as the new vice-president, finance and operations.
Smailes brings more than 20 years of experience to the role. He has served as interim vice-president since January and formally took on the position this week.
“As Vice-President, he will work closely with me, the board of governors, executive, deans and other partners, in overseeing the finance and operations portfolio for the university,” said UBC President and Vice-Chancellor Santa J. Ono. “He will also provide strategic leadership along with other members of the executive team to ensure the university is successful in achieving the vision and goals set out in its strategic plan: Shaping UBC’s Next Century.”
Smailes will lead finance, treasury and risk management services across the UBC Vancouver and Okanagan campuses as well as building operations, energy and water services and infrastructure development.
His portfolio also oversees the university’s relationship with the UBC Investment Management Trust which manages the university’s $2.1-billion endowment, the staff pension plan, and UBC Properties Trust, which develops and manages real-estate assets for the benefit of the university.
UBC has an operating budget of $2.5 billion, research income approaching $600 million, more than 150 spin-off companies and an estimated $12.7 billion economic impact.
“I’m very pleased to take on this role,” said Smailes. “UBC is an exceptional institution and I look forward to continuing to strengthen its reputation for research excellence and as a university dedicated to the student learning experience.”
Smailes is a Chartered Professional Accountant and Certified Management Accountant with a bachelor of economics degree from Carleton University.
He began his career in Toronto at a brokerage firm in 1987. In 1992, he joined UBC as a finance temporary employee, gradually moving through a variety of positions until 1998 when he left UBC to form a private consulting business.
Smailes returned to UBC in 2001 as associate treasurer, a role he held until 2005. That year he was named interim treasurer, before he was appointed to the treasurer role in 2007.
Smailes is married and has two children.