Teachers’ expands push into Asia with plan to double Singapore staff

Joins other Canadian pension funds deploying more capital to region Author of the article: Bloomberg News David Scanlan The Singapore skyline. “Singapore gives us another dimension in terms of dealing with Southeast Asia and Australia,” said Teachers’ CEO Jo Taylor. Photo by KEVIN LAM /Reuters The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan is looking to potentially double…
Teachers’ expands push into Asia with plan to double Singapore staff

Joins other Canadian pension funds deploying more capital to region

Author of the article:

Bloomberg News

David Scanlan

The Singapore skyline. “Singapore gives us another dimension in terms of dealing with Southeast Asia and Australia,” said Teachers’ CEO Jo Taylor. Photo by KEVIN LAM /Reuters

The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan is looking to potentially double staff in its Singapore office as the $243 billion fund steps up its expansion in Asia.

The Toronto-based investor is moving into new offices in the city-state next year with capacity for about 45 to 50 people, from about 25 now. That would surpass the 35 staff in the fund’s Hong Kong office.

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“We are planning to be able,” to double headcount in Singapore, said chief executive Jo Taylor. “You know what happens when you open a nice new office, they tend to get filled.”

Ontario Teachers’ joins other Canadian pension funds adding staff and deploying more capital to Asia. The Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System aims to triple assets in the region over the next eight years from $13 billion now, CEO Blake Hutcheson said at the Milken Institute Asia Summit on Thursday. The Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec plans to invest $15 billion over five years, the Business Times reported.

The Singapore expansion will allow Ontario Teachers’ to invest in a wider range of assets as it builds on its $20 billion exposure to the region. Both the firm’s real estate unit, Cadillac Fairview, and the infrastructure team already have staff in the Southeast Asian nation.

“Singapore gives us another dimension in terms of dealing with Southeast Asia and Australia,” said Taylor, in an interview Friday from the Singapore office, which was opened in 2020. “It’s clearly a vibrant financial hub with lots of really helpful co-investors and financial advisers.”

Taylor said the fund has no hard target for its Asian assets, though it will naturally grow as it looks to deploy about half of new investments outside North America. Traditionally, the fund has held about 70 per cent of assets in Canada and the U.S.

“If we doubled our exposure would that be fine, probably yes,” said Taylor, who was in Mumbai this week opening a new office in India.

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Hong Kong will remain a base for the fund’s investments in the Greater China area, said Ben Chan, executive managing director for Asia-Pacific.

“We have seen movement from Hong Kong to Singapore for some financial services,” Chan said in the same interview. “For us, if we are going to be active in Southeast Asia and Australia, then naturally the place to be is here.”

Ontario Teachers’ manages funds for 333,000 retired and working teachers. It has set a target to have $300 billion in net assets by 2030, according to its website.

Bloomberg.com

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