Canada’s Caisse to open Singapore office

04 June 2014   Category: News, Asia, Global, Singapore, Canada   By Daniel Shane

Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec (CDPQ), the Canadian pension manager with US$182.3 billion in AUM, said it will open an Asia-Pacific hub in Singapore as part of its global expansion plan.

Montreal-based CDPQ plans to open the Singapore HQ within the next five years, in addition to new offices in Washington and Mexico City.

Chief Executive Officer Michael Sabia said that CDPQ would hire about 50 to 60 people as part of the expansion plans.

“It is our responsibility to go out and seek returns where they are and serve as a bridge to the world for Quebec’s economy,” Mr. Sabia said during a speech at the Montreal Council of Foreign Relations. “This will be one of the cornerstones of everything we do over the next five years.”

CDPQ currently has a branch in Beijing, and plans to open further offices in Mumbai and Sydney at some point in the future.

Pension providers in Canada are increasingly looking to Asia to diversify their investments. Last year, the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan opened its first office in Hong Kong.

“I think it’s very similar to what the other Canadian pension funds are doing,” Mr. Sabia continued. “Frankly, we have some catching up to do. When I look at my friends at [the] Canada Pension Plan Investment Board in Toronto, they have offices pretty widely distributed all over the world, with many people in them.”

According to CDPQ’s 2013 annual report, 47% of its portfolio is allocated to Canadian and overseas equities, 34.7% to fixed income, and 15.9% to inflation-sensitive investments, such as real estate, infrastructure and real return bonds. The rest is allocated to hedge funds and other alternative investments. The CDPQ produced an overall return of 13.1% in 2013.

The CDPQ manages pension funds for 31 depositors, which include the Government and Public Employees Retirement Plan, the Retirement Plans Sinking Fund and Regie des Rentes du Quebec.