INSEAD the business school for the world

Welcome to “Going Direct : The Case of Teachers' Private Capital", an INSEAD’s business case study. Our website will help you find suitable teaching materials, video interviews with the protagonists and easy to use de-briefing material.

Read an inspection copy of the case.


This case traces the evolution of the private equity investment platform of the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan (Teachers'), the largest single-profession pension plan in Canada. Unlike the typical pension fund, Teachers' forged a pioneering approach to investing by making a concerted push towards direct investing in private equity, well before disintermediation became popular among limited partners (LPs). The case follows Jim Leech, CEO of Teachers' and formerly head of Teachers' Private Capital, the private equity arm of the pension plan. It traces the multi-year journey during which Teachers' worked to develop in-house the competence and the culture required to move beyond fund investments into direct deals. The case discusses the advantages and limitations of the direct investing model, contrasts it with other approaches to investing in private equity, and raises important issues for institutional investors pursuing strong risk-adjusted returns.

Pedagogical Objectives

This case requires readers to have a basic understanding of the private equity investment model and familiarity with the typical relationship between general partners (GPs) and limited partners (LPs). The purpose is to introduce readers to the different private equity investment approaches available to LPs: from investing purely in funds and co-investing in deals alongside funds with varying degrees of influence to investing directly in deals, be it for a minority or controlling stake. In particular, thecase delves into the attractiveness of the direct investing model for LPs, offering insights into the internal capability, governance framework and organisational culture that LPs need to build in order to implement such a model successfully and benefit from its inherent cost savings. The case also discusses the challenges of sustaining and scaling up a direct investment capability, and, more broadly, the challenges that arise in managing a comprehensive private equity programme.


INSEAD's Global Private Equity Initiative (GPEI)

Find more information on GPEI case studies and publications here.

GPEI is INSEAD’s Centre of Excellence in Private Equity and works hand in hand with private equity firms to create relevant, timely and thought provoking output. Our research targets to enhance the productivity of the capital deployed in this asset class and to facilitate the exchange of ideas and best practices amongst limited and general partners and stakeholders involved in the industry.



How to buy the case

  • Hard and soft copies of the case and teaching note (which contains the login and password to access the private area of this site) can be purchased via our distributors’ websites. To choose a distributor please visit the INSEAD Case Distributors page.
  • The case can also be purchased directly from INSEAD.
  • If you are not a registered instructor, follow the instructions on our distributors’ websites to identify yourself as such.