Canada's largest public pension funds are pushing further into emerging markets, particularly Asia and Latin America, through a range of efforts that include boosting target allocations to the asset class, looking for ways to partner on new deals and bringing in additional staff with expertise in the area.
The C$201.4 billion ($151.6 billion) Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan is "investing significantly" in the asset class, especially in Asia, said Jo Taylor, executive managing director, global development. Its exposure to emerging markets fluctuates between 10% and 20% of the total pension fund, Mr. Taylor said.
"We will be recruiting a number of individuals across the region and also be making sure we continue to have a targeted focus in Latin America," he said. This will include looking for opportunities in equities, infrastructure and real estate in Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Chile and Mexico, he added.
The pension fund's exposure to emerging markets cuts across its fixed income, infra- structure, and public and private equity portfolios, said Mr. Taylor, who will become president and CEO of the Ontario fund on Jan. 1.
Over the next few years, Ontario Teachers, which has its headquarters in Toronto plus offices in Hong Kong and London, plans to double the number of its investment staff in Asia, which is currently about 30, Mr. Taylor said.
"One of the deliberations we are having is will all staff be in one office (in Hong Kong) or is there a need to have offices in other areas?" he said.
Currently, much of the pension fund's Asian portfolio is in equities, both private and publicly listed companies, Mr. Taylor said.