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Ontario Teachers floats late-stage VC platform to bet on tech firms globally
Photo Credit: Reuters

Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan, which has made direct bets in Indian companies, is launching a new platform to make late-stage venture capital and growth equity investments in technology companies globally, it said in a statement.

“The world is changing, and we are committed to finding new areas of opportunity to position our portfolio well for the future,” said Ontario Teachers, which is Canada's largest single-profession pension plan, with $191.1 billion in net assets as on 31 December 2018.

Ziad Hindo, chief investment officer, Ontario Teachers, said in the statement that the new platform will not be anchored to any particular region and will invest anywhere in the world where there is an opportunity.

The new department will be led by Olivia Steedman as its senior managing director. She has been with Ontario Teachers since 2002.

“This is a time of unprecedented change in multiple areas including computing, materials science, robotics and medicine. There are significant opportunities to invest in the new businesses and sectors that are emerging as a result of this change,” said Steedman.

The new platform has the potential to churn out strong above-market returns, said the company. It expects to tap into its deep partnerships globally to be agile in sourcing deals and making investments.

Ontario Teachers holds a diverse global portfolio of assets, 80% of which are managed in-house, and has earned an annual total-fund net return of 9.7% since it started in 1990.

The pension fund’s India portfolio includes microfinance institution Spandana Sphoorty Financial Ltd and e-commerce company Snapdeal.

It is also an investor in the funds of private equity firm Kedaara Capital.

Last year in March, Ontario Teachers had roped in Ben Chan, a former top executive at Malaysian sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional Berhad, as its Asia-Pacific head.

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