Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan

The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan has been in operation since 1990. Currently, it has C$239 billion ($183.9 billion; €174.9 billion) in AUM, of which 11 percent – or C$26.29 billion – is invested in infrastructure.

The fund’s infrastructure portfolio is mostly split between the energy (41 percent) and transport (46 percent) sectors. Its 2021 annual report revealed that such investments increased over the year, with exposure to real assets growing from C$44.9 billion to C$52.3 billion, with “the majority of this growth coming in the infrastructure portfolio, to gain further diversification and access to more reliable inflation-linked cashflows”.

The investor’s infrastructure assets span airports, toll roads, electricity and gas distribution and transmission, water distribution and wastewater plants, container terminals, and power generation. The pension has recently partnered with KKR on a number of projects, including the acquisition of Spark Infrastructure and an investment in Caruna, Finland’s largest electricity distribution company. Similarly, it partnered with IFM Investors to acquire the Canadian operations of Enwave Energy from Brookfield Asset Management.

Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System

With an infra portfolio valued at C$24.2 billion ($18.9 billion; €17.8 billion), OMERS has the highest allocation to the asset class amounting to 20 percent.

The fund’s infra business generated a net local return of 11.1 percent, surpassing its benchmark of 7.9 percent, and generated a net income of C$2.3 billion. The investor was also able to increase infrastructure investments to C$24 billion (up from C$22.1 billion in 2020). The geographical breakdown of these investments was not divulged in the investor’s annual report, but the fund as a whole invests across the US (44 percent), Canada (29 percent) Asia-Pacific (10 percent), continental Europe (9 percent) and the UK (7 percent).

Last year saw the fund deploy capital towards a variety of projects, including Leeward Renewable Energy – a wind and solar platform – and Navisun and Fotowatio Renewable Ventures – two solar and storage developers. It also saw an investment in India-based clean energy provider Azure Power.

The pension fund also made a public commitment last year to reach net-zero carbon emissions across its portfolio by 2050 – and a 20 percent reduction in said emissions by 2025.

CBUS

Founded in 1984 and headquartered in Melbourne, this superannuation fund boasts A$65.6 billion ($45.5 billion; €43.3 billion) in assets under management, of which 10.5 percent – or A$6.89 billion – is in infrastructure. CBUS plans to increase that figure to 11 percent.

CBUS invests across the infra space, with a focus on energy and logistics. In regards to renewables, CBUS has recently invested in Australia-based Bright Energy Investments, which operates solar and wind farms in the south-west of the country. However, geographically speaking, the fund operates globally, with investments in Asia-Pacific, Europe and North America.

Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec

Established in 1965, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec is a Montreal-based institutional investor that manages several public pension plans and insurance programmes. As of Q1 2022, the investor manages C$419.8 billion ($323 billion; €307.2 billion) in assets, with infrastructure accounting for 10.8 percent of that total. Last year was a great one for CDPQ’s infra business, with its portfolio seeing its best absolute performance in a decade and C$1.3 billion in value added, and more than C$11 billion committed or invested.

CDPQ invests in infra through unlisted equity funds – funds that have been, since 2015, open-ended, focusing on energy, industrials, transportation and utilities, though it has been known to make the odd investment in telecommunications. In the fund’s most recent annual report, CEO Charles Emond stated that CDPQ’s infra portfolio was diversifying into “future-focused” areas. The firm has also increased its geographical diversity in the past five years – its portfolio is centred in the US (36.2 percent), Europe (17.9 percent), Asia-Pacific (17.5 percent), Canada (15.7 percent) and Latin America (11.4 percent).

One notable investment that CDPQ has made in recent months – acquired through its subsidiary Invenergy – is an 84,000-acre lease of land off the New York Bight. The winning bid for the plot totalled $645 million; the investor plans to develop the plot to establish one of the United States’ first offshore wind facilities.

Australian Super

Since its founding 15 years ago, this Melbourne-based superannuation fund has accumulated A$261.4 billion ($181.3 billion; €172.4 billion) in assets under management. AustralianSuper’s infrastructure portfolio, in particular, is currently valued at A$30.6 billion – accounting for 11.7 percent of its total AUM, slightly above its 11 percent target allocation.

One of the fund’s more recent investments comes in the form of 70 percent equity in Australia Tower Network, bought from Singtel in October 2021. Late 2021 also saw the superannuation fund invest in the Sydney Kingsford Smith airport, joining a consortium led by IFM seeking to take the airport private. Strategically speaking, the investor looks to transport, energy, telecommunications and utilities for its investments, with major assets in water distribution, toll roads, sea and airports, electricity, oil and gas.

UniSuper

This Melbourne-based industry superannuation fund has A$102.2 billion ($70.9 billion; €67.4 billion) under management, of which 4.1 percent – or A$4.2 billion – is allocated to infrastructure.

The fund invests across the infrastructure space, but with a specific focus on energy and transport, which the investor does through both debt and unlisted equity. Like many of its Australian peers, UniSuper has its sights set much farther than Down Under, with investments in Asia-Pacific, Latin America, MENA, North America and Western Europe.

While the fund initially faced asset devaluations in the face of covid-19, its outlook seemed to have turned a corner by the time the super fund released its 2020-2021 annual report last October – according to which, UniSuper’s median investor saw a return of 17.6 percent.

REST

Since its establishment in 1988, REST has become one of Australia’s largest superannuation funds, with more than 1.81 million members and A$70.1 billion ($48.6 billion; €46.2 billion) in assets under management. Of that sum, 10.6 percent is invested in infrastructure. As of 2021, 59.1 percent of those assets are in Australia and New Zealand, with a sizeable portion in North America (27.6 percent) and Europe (13.3 percent).

REST’s infrastructure investments span the energy, transport and communications subsectors. Its climate change mitigation policy, initiated in 2018, aims to get the fund to a net-zero carbon footprint by 2050, in turn spurring the firm towards an infra portfolio rife with renewables assets, which currently account for 18.5 percent of the fund’s infrastructure portfolio.

HESTA

This Melbourne-based superannuation fund’s infrastructure portfolio represents 10.3 percent of its A$66.6 billion ($46.2 billion; €43.9 billion) in AUM, equivalent to A$6.8 billion.

HESTA deploys capital towards infrastructure investments spanning the energy, transport and telecommunications subsectors. Almost all of its investments – save its equity in Brazil-based electric company Energisa – are located in either Australia or Hong Kong. In 2020, the fund became one of the first in Australia to commit to reducing its portfolio’s absolute carbon emissions.

In line with the Paris Agreement, its goal is to see an overall reduction by 33 percent before 2030 and a 100 percent reduction by 2050. Nevertheless, HESTA’s general manager of unlisted assets Will MacAulay noted to Infrastructure Investor last year that the fund does not expect its allocation to infra to materially increase, outside of normal, proportional AUM increases.

Korean Teachers’ Credit Union 

The Korean Teachers’ Credit Union’s story begins in 1971, when the public pension fund was founded in Seoul. Since its inception, it has accumulated 41.4 trillion won ($32.4 billion; €30.8 billion) in AUM. The fund allocates 12.7 percent of its AUM towards infrastructure, or 5.26 trillion won.

Unlike many others on this list, KTCU has a large social infrastructure component in its portfolio, alongside investments in energy, telecommunications and utilities. Historically, KTCU has been active in Asia-Pacific, but in recent years it has gone global. In 2017, the fund announced it would focus on industrial subsectors in North America and Europe. Additionally, it committed $70 million to KKR’s inaugural APAC-focused fund, which closed on its $3.9 billion hard-cap in January 2021.

Korean Teachers’ Credit Union 

The Korean Teachers’ Credit Union’s story begins in 1971, when the public pension fund was founded in Seoul. Since its inception, it has accumulated 41.4 trillion won ($32.4 billion; €30.8 billion) in AUM. The fund allocates 12.7 percent of its AUM towards infrastructure, or 5.26 trillion won.

Unlike many others on this list, KTCU has a large social infrastructure component in its portfolio, alongside investments in energy, telecommunications and utilities. Historically, KTCU has been active in Asia-Pacific, but in recent years it has gone global. In 2017, the fund announced it would focus on industrial subsectors in North America and Europe. Additionally, it committed $70 million to KKR’s inaugural APAC-focused fund, which closed on its $3.9 billion hard-cap in January 2021.

OPTrust 

Based in Toronto, the public pension fund has been in operation since 1995. Of the C$27.2 billion ($20.9 billion; €19.9 billion) in assets it currently manages, 12.4 percent (C$3.4 billion) is in infrastructure, slightly shy of its 15 percent target allocation. That infra portfolio generated a net return of 33 percent in 2021, according to the fund’s annual report.

The portfolio consists of investments in unlisted equity across diversified infrastructure assets, including transportation and logistics. The fund has been divesting from midstream assets, selling two of its pipelines (one in oil, one in gas) in 2021. In terms of investments, the investor deployed C$215 million in capital, developing a portfolio whose newest additions include a minority stake in Australian regional bus operator Kinetic. Its portfolio is geographically diverse, too, with investments across Europe, the Americas, the Middle East and Africa, and Asia-Pacific.