Canadian pension funds making a big shift towards S Asia

With Prateek Maheshwari, Managing Director and Head of Asia, OMERS Infrastructure

Wai Leng Leong, Managing Director and Regional Head of Asia Pacific, CDPQ Global, CDPQ Singapore

Canada’s top pension funds CDPQ, CPPIB and OMERS – among the most active institutional investors in the alternative asset class – have been stepping up their presence and exposure in the region in both public and private markets and setting up platforms for investments. 

Canada’s CDPQ, which set up its Singapore office back in 2014, typically allocates 13.6% of its investments towards markets such as SE Asia, China, India and Latam nations. In SE Asia, CDPQ has primarily invested in Indonesian government bonds and infrastructure projects. Through its real estate arm Ivanhoe Cambridge, which backs LOGOS Group, CDPQ recently formed two JVs with CPPIB to develop logistics facilities in Jakarta. An active LP, CDPQ is also looking at co-investment opportunities and an increased presence in the technology vertical. The pension fund manager has over $50 billion assets in its PE portfolio.

Our featured speaker Wai Leng Leong is responsible for the regional management of CDPQ Global in Asia Pacific. She has over 30 years of experience in the finance and banking sectors, including 13 years in China, where she built a commercial banking business from the ground up.

For OMERS, which has assets worth $109 billion under management, the Asia market is a strategic priority. Prateek Maheshwari believes the energy transition theme is going to be very strong in Asia as it tries to decarbonise. OMERS manages a diversified portfolio of investments in public markets, private equity, infrastructure, and real estate. OMERS is looking to expand its portfolio of infrastructure assets in Asia. The investment manager is eyeing sectors such as telecom, renewable energy, and road. Maheshwari leads investment efforts in transport and renewable energy infrastructure. Prior to joining OMERS, Prateek was a Senior Principal with Global Infrastructure Partners for 12 years. 

We will speak to them about the Asia opportunities and the long-term returns outlook.