CPPIB launches real assets unit

The Canadian pension is merging its real estate, infrastructure and agriculture departments amid a wider reshuffle of its private investment team.

The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board is the latest infrastructure giant to launch a real assets unit in a bid to streamline its inflation-linked, cash-yielding asset portfolio.

The Toronto-based pension has appointed Graeme Eadie as global head of the newly created department, which will combine CPPIB’s existing real estate, infrastructure and agriculture groups. Eadie was previously the institution’s global head of real estate, having joined the pension in 2005 from real estate firm Cadillac Fairview.

The move is part of broader changes at the top echelons of the pension, the highest-profile of which will be the departure of Mark Jenkins, CPPIB’s current global head of private investments. Jenkins will leave at the end of the week to join The Carlyle Group “in a senior leadership role” after eight years at the institution, CPPIB said in a statement.

Taking over his job will be Shane Feeney, who most recently was a managing director and head of direct private equity at the pension fund. Feeney, at CPPIB since 2010, was previously a partner and founding member of Hermes Fund Managers’ direct private equity unit. Prior to this he was an associate director with Morgan Grenfell Private Equity in London.

Ryan Selwood, who previously led CPPIB’s direct private equity activities in Europe, will be replacing Feeney in his role as global head.

The pension fund’s strategic move comes seven months after BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, went ahead with the merger of its infrastructure and real estate arms. Jim Barry, formerly the firm’s head of infrastructure, took the helm of the combined real assets unit.