(Bloomberg) -- Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board, one of Canada’s largest public-pension managers, is considering opening an office in India as part of its expansion into fast-growing emerging markets.
The C$242 billion ($188 billion) fund could open an office in the subcontinent as soon as next year, Chief Executive Officer Jo Taylor told Bloomberg News in an interview Tuesday.
“If you are looking at a geography which is the most likely next location for us, I think its going to be India. We are already quite active there,” Taylor said. In April, OTPP agreed to invest up to $175 million in KKR & Co’s India road investment platform.
OTPP is still deliberating the asset classes it will target in India, according to Taylor. It may initially look to recruit about 10 people in the country, depending on strategy, but won’t bring people in “just for the sake of hiring,” he said.
Deal activity in India has been accelerating amid a rising stock market and a push by the government to monetize some state assets. Mergers and acquisitions involving Indian companies have jumped 166% this year to $127 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
OTPP manages the retirement pots of teachers in Ontario. It’s among a slew of pension investors from Canada that have expanded their global presence in recent years to become one of the world’s largest pools of institutional capital.
Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, another of the country’s biggest managers of retirement money, opened a Mumbai office in 2015 and has done dozens of deals since then. Brookfield Asset Management Inc. also has offices in India and is an active investor across real estate, infrastructure and technology.
A surge in the value of private assets helped boost the performance of the Canadian funds last year. OTPP said in March that it returned 11% in 2021, as improved performance in its private equity and natural resources investments mitigated losses in its bond portfolio.
Separately, OTPP is looking to set up a credit investment team in London, Chief Investment Officer Ziad Hindo said.
“London is really flush with a lot of talent that specializes in credit,” Hindo said. “We are in the process of putting a foundation for that team, but the idea is that in the next five years we will significantly expand our credit capabilities.”
Volatility in equity markets is opening up opportunities in asset classes like fixed income, where OTPP had cut exposure in recent years, according to Hindo.
“There are certainly some dislocations that are looking more interesting,” he said. “Are we going to go all in on all of them right now? Clearly not. But one example would be fixed income.”
Taylor, who became the CEO of OTPP in 2020, has a goal to grow the fund’s assets to C$300 billion by 2030. OTPP is also aiming to diversify its portfolio and originate 50% of new investments in Europe and Asia.
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