Private markets drive returns at Ontario Pension Board

Performance for the Canadian pension plan’s private portfolio, which continues to grow, is in line with last year’s.

Private market investments at the Ontario Pension Board returned 11.1 percent for the year ending 2016, in line with the previous year's data.

Private markets consist of real estate, private equity and infrastructure, which the pension board has been increasing in recent years as it continues its strategy of shifting assets from public to private investments, it said in a statement on Monday.

In 2016, it upped its infrastructure portfolio by 6.1 percent, its private equity portfolio by 68.5 percent and its real estate portfolio by 6.8 percent.

This follows increases in 2015 by 50 percent for each infrastructure and private equity and by 30 percent for real estate.

As of the end of 2015, the pension had 2.4 percent of assets, or C$552 million, in private equity; 5 percent, or C$1.15 billion in infrastructure; and 18.5 percent, or C$4.25 billion, in real estate.

Toronto-based Ontario Pension Board, which administrates Ontario's Public Service Pension Plan and which had C$24.4 billion in net assets at the end of 2016, was not available for comment. 

The total annual investment return for 2016 was 8.1 percent, above last year's 6.14 percent.