Canadian pension fund opens first India office in Mumbai

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) has opened its first India office in Mumbai and is set to grow the team in coming years, it said on Tuesday.

“We will be in a country where we get the best risk-adjusted returns and right now India is one of them,” Mark Wiseman, president and CEO at CPPIB, said. “The money that we put in will include currency risks, inflationary risks and we calculate our risk-adjusted returns accordingly.”

The pension fund, which has invested around $2 billion in India over the past five years, is open to investing in large companies along with PE firms.

Wiseman said the fund has five professionals in India and would be looking at growing the team as investment opportunities arise. The firm, which has 1,250 employees globally, has not formally named an India head.

This is the seventh office for CPPIB globally, after Toronto, New York, London, Luxembourg, Hong Kong and Sao Paulo.

Vikram Gandhi, founder and CEO at VSG Capital Advisors Pvt Ltd, helped set up the Mumbai office for CPPIB. He is a leading consultant for the pension board on all the major investments in India.

Wiseman said CPPIB has been investing in India since 2010 and views it as a key growth market that aligns with its strategy of seeking investments in markets that it believes will deliver attractive long-term risk-adjusted returns.

The pension fund has invested in companies including Kotak Mahindra Bank and L&T Infrastructure Development Projects. It has formed joint investment platforms with Piramal Enterprises and Shapoorji Pallonji Group, besides investing in third-party PE funds as a Limited Partner (LP). Its Indian LP portfolio includes investments in Multiples Alternate Asset Management and India Value Fund Advisors.

CPPIB and Shapoorji Pallonji struck their debut deal in June this year by acquiring an IT park in Chennai. The same month, it co-invested with Multiples PE and other pension funds in top multiplex operator PVR.

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