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Canadian Pension Plans React To Brexit Vote


Canada's top pension plans are major UK CRE investors. Case in point: a few months ago a consortium of OTPP, OMERS and AIMCo acquired London City Airport (above).

In the wake of the Brexit vote, many of these groups are indicating they remain firmly committed to the motherland. Indeed, some see bargains on the horizon. Here’s a reaction rundown:

• OMERS, one of Canada’s largest pension plans and owner of Oxford Properties Group, said while it anticipates “high volatility” in coming weeks, its private market assets in the UK were purchased “with a long-term perspective that we believe will generate solid returns for our pensioners.”  

• Ivanhoé Cambridge, real estate arm of Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, boasts substantial UK holdings, such as 21 Lombard St, acquired last spring. “We are investing for the long term and have built our portfolio to make it more resilient in turbulent times. Not immunized, but more resilient,” a spokesperson told the Financial Post.

• Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, with $20B in UK investment, told Reuters fallout from the Brexit vote could create opportunities to invest in UK real estate and infrastructure at a discount. “We have a bias to stability over uncertainty, yet periods of dislocation can present compelling opportunities that short term investors are unable to pursue,” a spokesman said.

• Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan senior portfolio manager Lisa Lafave echoed that sentiment: “There may be some positive opportunities in the short-term," she said. "Timing will be important to protect from any downside.”