Fiera Capital Corp.’s property unit wants to go global.

Quebec’s biggest publicly traded asset manager is looking to make its first real-estate foray outside of Canada by the start of the next decade to diversify its holdings, according to Pierre Pelletier, a senior vice president at the company. All of Fiera Properties’ assets under management, which are valued at about $3 billion, are located in Canada.

“Our intention is to proceed with an orderly expansion outside of Canada, for instance in the U.S. or in Europe,” Pelletier said Thursday in a phone interview. “Over a period of two or three years, we want to either start buying assets abroad or to begin to do development there. We have big plans.”

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Montreal-based Fiera Capital already has a solid international portfolio. The money manager, which oversees more than $143 billion and runs various equity, fixed income and infrastructure funds, has made several acquisitions in the U.S., Europe and Asia over the last decade. In March, it announced the purchase of Hong Kong-based Clearwater Capital Partners LLC to add US$1.4 billion in credit assets.

“Fiera Capital is now a global platform, with offices in cities like New York and London,” Pelletier said. “We want to use that platform to expand.”

Real estate “is a local business,” Pelletier said. “You need to know the right street corners. So we are going to work with people who are well known locally and who are competent in real estate investment, whether it’s in acquisitions or in development.”

Fiera’s real estate holdings include industrial, office, residential and retail properties. On Thursday, the company -- together with Quebec-based partners Devimco Immobilier and Fonds de Solidarite FTQ -- announced plans to build a $700 million real-estate project in downtown Montreal that will feature two 51- and 53-story towers with about 1,500 residential units.