The Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission has awarded Canadian pension fund Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan licenses to carry out type one, four and nine activities, which include dealing in securities, advising on securities and asset management, according to a company statement.
The approval comes as the C$127 billion (€95 billion; $123 billion) pension fund readies the launch of a Hong Kong office, its first presence in the Asia Pacific region. The office will be staffed by both local and Canadian professionals from the fund’s private capital and public equities departments, according to the firm.
“I am pleased to confirm that our Asia subsidiary and its proposed responsible officers have received formal approval for these licences,” Jim Leech, OTPP president and chief executive, said in a statement.
Asia has long been a region of interest to Teachers'. We look forward to continuing to build relationships with local partners and exploring new direct, co-investment and fund investment opportunities in the
Jim Leech, president and CEO, Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan
“Asia has long been a region of interest to Teachers'. We look forward to continuing to build relationships with local partners and exploring new direct, co-investment and fund investment opportunities in the market.”
The firm has been one of the more active North American LPs in the Asia Pacific region.
In June 2012, the pension fund acquired a 9.9 percent stake in Korea’s Kyobo Life Insurance for $400 million. The deal was its first direct investment into Korea, taking the stake from Korea Asset Management Corporation. Later, in August, an investor group made up of private equity firms Affinity Equity Partners, Baring Private Equity Asia and local Korean firm IMM Private Equity and the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation, took a 24 percent stake in Kyobo for $1.06 billion.
The fund is also diversifying its Asia portfolio and will increase its allocation to India, having committed to ex-Temasek executive Manish Kejriwal’s new firm Kedaara Capital. The firm also plans to increase its commitment to Latin America.
OTPP has a 26.18 percent allocation to alternative assets and a 7.54 percent allocation to private equity, according to Private Equity International’s Research & Analytics division. Fund commitments in Asia Pacific include Unitas Capital’s pan-Asia funds, FountainVest Partners’ two China-focused vehicles, and TPG’s Newbridge Asia funds II and III.