Peter Smailes

Vice-President, Finance & Operations

Peter Smailes is the Vice-President, Finance & Operations at the University of British Columbia. He is responsible for leading Comptroller, Financial Operations, Treasury, and Security & Risk Services and well as Building Operations, Energy & Water Services, and Infrastructure Development across our Vancouver and Okanagan campuses.

As part of his portfolio, Peter serves as a board member and oversees the university’s relationship with UBC Investment Management Trust which manages the university’s endowment and staff pension plan, and UBC Properties Trust which develops and manages real estate assets for the benefit of the university.

UBC Lean Six Sigma Certified White Belt Certification badgePeter was promoted to the position of Vice-President, Finance and Operations at UBC in July 2018. Prior to that he served as the UBC Treasurer for 10 years and Associate Treasurer for 7 years. In addition to his work with UBC, Peter has worked as a Treasury Consultant with a variety of universities, hospitals and not-for-profit clients.

Peter has a degree in Economics from Carleton University and is a CPA, CMA.

Updates from Peter


August 26, 2021
Our next steps for return to campus

We have all been following the news from the Provincial Government and have seen the recent messages from Santo Ono about the latest changes to COVID-19 public health guidance. We know our return to campus will need to be different than the plans we discussed at our VPFO all-staff town hall on July 15.

July 19, 2021
July 15 VPFO Townhall presentation and slides

Our VPFO townhall looked back on our experiences over the past year and forward to a brighter fall and beyond. It was recorded on Zoom and the presentation slides are available in PDF.

April 29, 2021
Update on our strategic plan

In November, I sent an update that highlighted our plan to begin a process of transformational change within the VPFO, following our strategic plan’s focus on renewal and optimization. As we start our new fiscal year, I want to share a brief update on our progress.

February 4, 2021
UBC Completes Initial Transitioning of Funds Through the Responsible Investing Strategy

As part of UBC’s commitment to a low-carbon, sustainable future and divesting the endowment, the university is pleased to share that $34M of endowment funds have been transitioned to fossil-fuel-free investments.

November 20, 2020
Our first step towards transformational change in the VPFO

We're working to build a holistic view of our portfolio to better understand how our individual team strengths can be used across the portfolio, while finding efficiencies and savings.