Alberta Investment Management Corp., one of Canada’s largest pension plans, is opening a New York office as it pushes further into private credit investing.

The $164 billion pension is looking to grow its $6 billion of private credit assets by a couple of billion dollars over the next five years, Chief Investment Officer Marlene Puffer said in an interview. Meanwhile, it’s opening a New York office to be close to many of its biggest U.S. managers.

“We’re getting much more strategic about relationships with general partners,” she said.

Aimco is already active in middle-market private credit. It will focus on expanding its investments in large-cap private credit based in the U.S., aiming to do co-investments alongside fund commitments, Puffer said.

Aimco’s office at One Vanderbilt, near Grand Central Terminal, is opening with five professionals focused on private credit and one on private equity, with plans to grow to around 25 to 30 people in the next five years, she said.

The Alberta pension plan hired David Scudellari in 2023 as head of international investment.

Private credit has grown into a US$1.7 trillion asset class as higher interest rates have drawn investors and bank financing for deals has dried up.

Aimco invests on behalf of 15 pension, endowment and government clients in the oil-rich Canadian province.