Borealis returns 10.1% in 2010

The infrastructure investment arm of the C$53.3bn Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System beat its benchmark by 1.6%.

Borealis Infrastructure, the infrastructure investment arm of the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System, returned 10.1 percent in 2010.

The C$53.3 billion (€39 billion; $54 billion) pension, one of Canada’s largest, said Borealis’ return beat its benchmark by 1.6 percent in 2010. This in a year when OMERS’ total return topped 12 percent, according to a statement.

The Toronto-based investment group, which has invested some C$7 billion across more than 20 investments on behalf of OMERS, marked a busy year in 2010. It closed a C$1 billion deal with the province of Ontario to extend its license on Teranet Holdings, a land registry system, through 2067. The deal came barely a month after Borealis and the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan placed the winning £2.1 billion (€2.4 billion; $3.4 billion) bid for the UK’s high-speed rail link to the Channel Tunnel.

In 2009, Borealis also beat OMERS’ expectations, returning 10.9 percent against a 9 percent benchmark, according to a fund performance fact sheet.

John Sabo, chair of the OMERS Administration Corporation Board of Directors, said in a statement that, since OMERS began shifting its asset mix more heavily into private investments like infrastructure, the pension has earned an annualised return of 8.1 percent. That includes the negative return of negative 15.3 percent OMERS suffered in 2008 as a result of the financial crisis.

Actuarial assumptions indicate OMERS requires an investment return of 6.5 percent annually to keep its assets and liabilities in balance, according to the statement.