OMERS: infra a boon in 2011

The C$55bn Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System credited infrastructure with driving its return in 2011. Its allocation to the asset class turned in an 8.79% performance, beating its internal benchmark.

Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS) is claiming infrastructure helped bolster its 2011 performance, the Toronto-based pension administrator said last Friday.

OMERS said its infrastructure investment division, named Borealis Infrastructure, generated an 8.79 percent rate of return. OMERS set an 8 percent benchmark for its infrastructure portfolio, according to a statement. The figure represented a slight drop from 2010, when infrastructure returned 10.1 percent for OMERS, bettering its then benchmark of 8.5 percent.

Net income, meanwhile, topped C$1.7 billion (€1.25 billion; $1.7 billion) under management, as opposed to C$5.5 billion in 2010, and its asset base climbed 3.4 percent to C$55 billion. In all, the pension fund manager, a provider to the most populous province in Canada, posted a 3.17 percent return.

In its statement, OMERS cited its private investment portfolio, including infrastructure, private equity and real estate, as the breadwinner, returning 8.2 percent, while its public market portfolio logged a 0.22 percent loss.

The pension fund administrator said its private asset mix has been a profit centre since OMERS shifted from public equity in 2003. Some 42 percent of its capital is invested privately, OMERS said.