Senior infra director resigns from PSP Investments – exclusive

Steven Sonnenstein – who has closed more than $1.4bn in equity commitments – is leaving the Canadian pension on Friday after nearly six years.

Steven Sonnenstein, a senior director for infrastructure investments at PSP Investments has resigned from the Canadian pension after six years, a spokeswoman from the pension confirmed to Infrastructure Investor.

His last day at PSP Investments will be on 30 March. It is not yet known where he will go next.

Sonnenstein was still representing PSP Investments on stage last week at our Global Summit, where he moderated a panel on data infrastructure (see picture, right).

An industry veteran with more than 20 years of experience, Sonnenstein has led deals across several sectors ­– with telecoms emerging as an area of specialisation – and many geographies, with European, Turkish and Indian infrastructure standing out, while at the Canadian pension. During his six years, he put in final bids worth more than C$7.5 billion ($5.83 billion; €4.71 billion) of equity, closing on more than C$1.8 billion of equity commitments – mostly in telecoms infrastructure – and co-led and asset managed in more than C$1 billion of additional investments.

Before joining PSP Investments, Sonnenstein worked for Brookfield Asset Management, in its infrastructure and private equity groups, focusing on South America.

The C$139.2 billion pension has gone through some personnel changes lately following the departure of president and chief executive André Bourbonnais to BlackRock, where he is said to be leading a “Buffett-like” long-term strategy which will include the launch of a $10 billion perpetual capital vehicle targeting minority stakes in family-owned businesses and corporate spin-outs.

In February, PSP Investments appointed Neil Cunningham as its new president and chief executive. Cunningham, who joined the pension in 2004, worked his way up to senior vice-president, global head of real estate in 2015. His experience includes earlier stints at Merrill Lynch and National Bank of Canada.