Canada's OPTrust eyes Australian infrastructure

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Canada's OPTrust eyes Australian infrastructure

OPTrust, one of Canada's biggest pension funds, has announced plans to invest in Australian infrastructure.

The pension fund has plans to invest about CAD$1 billion on private equity and infrastructure assets. OPTrust has already invested about CAD$250 million in Australia, the investment includes:

  • 2 coal loaders,
  • Australia's largest soil treatment plant in Victoria and
  • Melbourne's SkyBus.

OPTrust managing director Stan Kolenc told The Sydney Morning Herald:

"In Australia at the large end it's as competitive as anywhere in the world, especially because you get the big American international firms bidding for large assets."

"We invest in this middle space. But the smaller end of town is also interesting because this suits our cheque size and there is little competition because many local pension funds have pulled back their asset allocations or have looked to invest overseas. That lower end of the market has a great competitive dynamic where you have got more opportunity, and we are going to look there to make more direct investments and partner with management teams or private equity."

OPTrust has recently appointed Hugh O'Reilly as President and CEO of the organization. Mr. O'Reilly has a reputation for crafting innovative, practical outcomes to pension challenges.

With assets of $16 billion, the OPTrust invests and manages one of Canada's largest pension funds and administers the OPSEU Pension Plan, a defined benefit plan with more than 84,000 members and retirees.

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