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OMERS leads $5bn investment in groundbreaking $20bn infrastructure fund

27 Apr 2012

Canadian pension fund giant OMERS has teamed up a Japanese counterpart and a Mitsubishi-led consortium to kick-start a $20bn record-breaking infrastructure fund.

The Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System announced today it had joined with Japan’s Pension Fund Association (PFA) and Japan Infrastructure Investment Partners (JIIP) to help the fund to a $7.5bn first close.

The move bucks the general trend of major pension funds relying on asset managers to handle their investments into infrastructure projects.

OMERS supplied $5bn to the Global Strategic Investment Alliance (GSIA), with PFA and JIIP each providing $1.5bn.

Jacques Demers, president and CEO of OMERS Strategic Investments, said he anticipated other pension plans and institutional investors making billion-dollar plus investments into GSIA over the next 12 to 18 months.

He said, “We’re very pleased to be partnering with these sophisticated investors in pursuit of high-quality, large infrastructure investments that we can own over the long term.”

GSIA’s goal is for like-minded, long-term institutional investors from North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific and the Middle East to work together in pursuit of attractive, large-scale infrastructure investment assets, mainly in North America and Western Europe.

Investments will be originated and managed by OMERS’ infrastructure investment arm Borealis Infrastructure, while administrative support services will be provided by OMERS affiliate Rosewater Global.

OMERS, one of Canada’s largest pension funds, has more than $55.1 billion in net assets.

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