CPPIB appoints head of direct PE as interim San Francisco office head

Private equity was one of the largest contributors to performance during the quarter for the Canadian pension giant.

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board managing director and head of direct private equity Ryan Selwood will be interim lead of the pension’s new San Francisco office, according to a press release.

Several transfers are underway from various investment groups to build out the team in the San Francisco office, which opened earlier this year. Selwood, who joined the Canadian pension giant in 2006, played a critical role in opening the office and establishing the local team, a source familiar with CPPIB told Private Equity International.

Ryan Selwood

He will continue his role as head of direct private equity and remain located at the Toronto office, visiting the new office often.

Previously, Selwood led the direct private activities in Europe and CPPIB’s financial institutions group, according to its website.

Selwood’s appointment follows the September appointment of Monica Adractas as head of venture capital funds at the San Francisco office to access investment opportunities and deepen relationships in the technology sector.

CPPIB also appointed Michael Hill, managing director, energy and resources in real assets, as the New York office head in September.

“The ‘Heads of’ roles for CPPIB’s New York and San Francisco offices are to better support its US operations locally and position it for future growth in this critical market,” the source said. CPPIB’s private equity portfolio is managed across four locations by 153 professionals; it had 116 direct investments and maintained 142 manager relationships as of 31 March, according to its 2019 annual report.

CPPIB reached C$409.5 billion ($302.64 billion; €274.42 billion) in assets at the end of the second quarter of its 2020 fiscal year on 30 September, which includes the base CPP account of C$408.3 billion and the additional CPP account of C$1.2 billion. The pension plan generated net annualised 10-year and five-year returns of 10.2 percent and 10.3 percent, respectively. CPPIB delivered a net return of 2.3 percent for the quarter ending 30 September.

According to a video presentation accompanying the results, among the active investment programmes, the largest contributors to performance were private equity and active equities.

Private equity accounted for 24.2 percent of CPPIB’s assets; almost 86 percent of its C$98.9 billion private equity assets were in foreign markets and almost 13 percent in emerging markets as of 30 September, the press release said.

In the second quarter of fiscal 2019, CPPIB extended its partnership with Toronto-headquartered firm Northleaf Capital Partners and aimed to invest $200 million over four years in a separate  evergreen fund structure to access the Canadian private equity market. It also acquired a stake in Waystar, the cloud-based provider of revenue cycle technology, alongside EQT VIII Fund at a valuation of $2.7 billion.

CPPIB was also part of the Blackstone-led consortium that agreed to sell financial markets data and infrastructure firm Refinitiv to the London Stock Exchange Group for a total enterprise value of approximately $27 billion.