La Caisse: infra highest performer in 2011

The Canadian institutional fund manager’s infrastructure portfolio, led by Macky Tall (pictured), generated 23.3 percent in returns easily beating the 11% and 7.1% returned by its real estate and private equity portfolios respectively.

Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec’s (La Caisse) infrastructure portfolio easily outperformed its real estate and private equity portfolios in 2011, a year which saw La Caisse deploy C$2.5 billion (€1.9 billion; $2.5 billion) in direct and fund investments and reap more than C$1 billion in secondary sales.

In a somewhat ironic twist of fate, infrastructure delivered private equity-like returns for La Caisse of 23.3 percent in 2011, while its private equity portfolio posted a more infrastructure-like 7.1 percent return. Real Estate returned 11 percent to the Canadian pension.

Infrastructure was also the only asset class to outperform La Caisse’s internal benchmark, besting it by 10.6 percent and brining in C$1.1 billion in net returns. Private equity came in slightly below the pension’s 7.4 percent benchmark whereas real estate underperformed its benchmark by 4.7 percent.

Last year, La Caisse deployed C$1.6 billion in new infrastructure investments, including two oil and gas deals: Colonial Pipeline, the largest pipeline network in the US, and Fluxys, in Belgium.

The institutional fund manager’s total portfolio returned 4 percent in 2011, slightly below its 4.2 percent benchmark, bringing net assets to C$159 billion – C$7.3 billion above the level reached at the end of 2010.