Canada's largest pension fund is expanding its global investment platform with a new office in India.
Canada Pension Plan Investment Board will have a new location in Mumbai to support an existing $2-billion (U.S.) of investments in sectors such as engineering and construction, real estate and banking. But more importantly, the office will scout new opportunities for the fund.
Mark Wiseman, chief executive officer of CPPIB, was among the business leaders and pension fund heads that met with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi this spring during a three-day visit to Canada.
As part of Mr. Modi's effort to promote foreign investment in India – particularly in areas such as infrastructure – he spoke to the executives about improving predictability and consistency in government decisions and regulations to create a more inviting climate for committing capital. He also asked for feedback as to what else could be done to make the country a more attractive place to invest.
CPPIB said at the time it would "remain active" in the region, where it has had a presence since 2010.
"CPPIB's long investment horizon aligns to the financing needs of India's economy, business conglomerates and entrepreneurs," said Mr. Wiseman in a statement on Tuesday. He has been a vocal advocate for diversifying assets globally and sourcing people with international experience to work for the fund.
CPPIB now has seven offices including this new one in Mumbai, which is a larger footprint than many of its Canadian pension fund peers. The other locations are Hong Kong, London, Luxembourg, New York, Sao Paulo and the headquarters in Toronto.
No other major Canadian pension funds have yet opened an office in India, but some other Canadian investors have increased their focus on the country.
Last year, Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. founder Prem Watsa put plans in motion to sponsor and promote Fairfax India Holdings Corp., a new public company and fund that invests in businesses focused on India's marketplace. The fund raised $1-billion (Canadian) and began to make its first investments this past summer.