Ontario Teachers' signals Asia-Pacific push

The Canadian pension fund will open its third office abroad in Hong Kong.

Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and its private equity division, Teachers' Private Capital, plans to open an office in Hong Kong next year to serve as its regional hub for Asia-Pacific activities.

Plans remain at an early stage, according to a spokeswoman, who was unable to provide further details. 

The plans reflect the ongoing trend of Canadian LPs increasing their direct investment activities abroad. OTPP — as well as fellow Canadian pensions The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) and the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System — already has offices in London and New York. CPPIB, meanwhile, is already in Hong Kong, having opened in 2008, with plans to grow its nine-strong investment team in Hong Kong. 

OTTP's Teachers' Private Capital has been active in Asia recently. In June, the $113 billion pension fund acquired a 9.9 percent stake in 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, joined by sovereign wealth fund the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation, took a 24 percent stake in the business for $1.06 billion. 

Asia is also keen to tap into resources coming from North America. In July, an announcement from the Philippines PPP Center said that “huge, untapped resources from the Canadian retirement industry are currently being eyed” for investment in the country’s Public-Private Partnership (PPP) programme. The announcement followed a trip to Canada by a Philippines delegation headed by the country’s foreign affairs secretary, Albert del Rosario.