OTPP sees C$1.1bn in first-half infra growth

The Canadian pension manager now holds C$18.9bn in infrastructure, as total assets grew to C$180.5bn.

Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan reported C$18.9 billion ($15.5 billion; €13.0 billion) in infrastructure assets in its midyear report, a C$1.1 billion increase from the end of 2016.

Infrastructure represents around 10.5 percent of OTPP’s C$180.5 billion in net assets, which saw a C$4.9 billion increase between the end of last year and 30 June. The pension’s total gross return was 3.7 percent.

For OTPP’s infrastructure holdings, the period marked continued growth. In 2016, the pension manager’s infrastructure portfolio delivered 1.4 percent one-year returns – besting its -2.3 percent benchmark despite a strong Canadian dollar – and growing by more than C$2 billion from C$15.7 billion at the end of 2015.

As recently as 2015, OTPP, Canada’s largest single-profession pension manager, was struggling to meet its target of 10-12 percent infrastructure allocation.

“We’ve had tremendous growth and it has come from executing on our expanded strategy, where we decided to be more open-minded on geographies, sectors and, to a certain extent, approaches as well, in order to put more money out,” Andrew Claerhout, OTPP’s head of infrastructure and natural resources, told Infrastructure Investor earlier this year.

Already, 2017 has been an active year for OTPP. In June, it sold the concession for the UK’s HS1 rail link, which it owned along with OMERS’s infrastructure arm, for £914 million ($1.2 billion; €1 billion). In March, OTPP joined with clean energy infrastructure company Anbaric to launch a development partnership aimed at building up to $2 billion of projects in North America. The firm has also begun looking for opportunities in Asia, a new geography for OTPP.