PSP Builds Credit Office in New York in Global Expansion

Public Sector Pension Investment Board will open offices in New York and London and is eyeing Asia as part of the Canadian fund’s plan to double its C$112 billion ($86 billion) in assets over the next decade.

PSP plans to build a loan-origination business in New York and private-equity operations in London this year, Andre Bourbonnais, chief executive officer of PSP, said in a phone interview Thursday.

“We’re going to stick to the markets we know better, which is essentially the Western world,” he said. Within 24 months PSP will look at getting an office in Asia, he said. “Having a foot on the ground there is going to be key for local knowledge, local human capital and being closer to our partners.”

PSP, which oversees the retirement savings of federal public servants, including the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, follows other domestic pension funds bulking up operations overseas.

The U.S. and Europe are presenting the greatest opportunity for investment in challenging markets where many investors are chasing deals, he said.

The fund returned 15 percent on its investments in the year ended March 31, 2015, and increased the value of its assets under management by 20 percent over the year, according to a statement Thursday.

Break Silos

Bourbonnais took over as chief executive of PSP in March after serving as global head of private investment at Canada Pension Plan Investment Board. He said he has already implemented measures within the organization aimed at breaking down barriers between the pension plan’s various departments so it can compete more effectively.

“This place has been built pretty much bottom up, with each investment class doing their own thing,” he said. “We need to break the silos and try to get as much synergies from the group as possible.”

PSP has also created a new chief investment officer position, and has reorganized its debt and credit functions under one roof and its private investment arms under another, he said.

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