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CPPIB establishes real assets department

The department merges the agriculture, infrastructure and real estate groups, and will be headed by Graeme Eadie.

The C$287.3 billion (€195 billion; $220 billion) Canada Pension Plan Investment Board has established a real assets investments department and made a raft of senior appointments.

The Toronto-based pension fund’s new department will be led by Graeme Eadie and bring together the real estate investment division with the CPPIB’s existing infrastructure and agriculture groups.

CPPIB is also one of the few institutions that has a group of agriculture experts whose job it is to help invest capital in agriculture along the supply chain, working across real asset and private equity divisions. The fund has bought a 40 percent of Glencore Agri, is invested in Canadian grain handler Viterra and owns a portfolio of domestic farmland.

Ryan Selwood has also been appointed head of direct private equity. He will be responsible for overseeing co-sponsorships and other direct private equity transactions. Selwood joined CPPIB in 2006 from Merrill Lynch, where he was a vice-president in the financial institutions group in the investment banking division in New York.

The CPPIB’s direct private equity programme, where the Glencore investment falls, focuses on North America and Europe, and seeks a range of ownership structures from minority to full control, co-investing alongside its general partners or investing in opportunities that do not fall under the traditional PE structure, according to its 2016 annual report released in May.

CPPIB has appointed Shane Feeney, who was head of direct private equity, as senior managing director and global head of private investments. Feeney will be responsible for all CPPIB’s private investment activities, and will report directly to president and chief executive officer Mark Machin.

Feeney replaces Mark Jenkins, who will leave CPPIB on 16 September to take become managing director and head of global credit at The Carlyle Group, a newly created position.

CPPIB’s private equity portfolio posted a year-over-year increase of 25 percent for the 2017 fiscal year’s first quarter, which ended 30 June, as reported by sister publication Private Equity International.

Private equity now represents 20.8 percent of the total assets reported for the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) Fund, a fund within the larger CPPIB, which marked a new peak. The CPPIB is the umbrella organisation that makes investments through the CPP Fund.