OPB commits to AMP’s global infra fund

The Ontario Pension Board has made a $200 million commitment to the Australian manager’s Global Infrastructure Fund, which has a target size of $2 billion.

The Ontario Pension Board (OPB), the administrator of Canada’s Public Service Pension Plan (PSPP), has allocated $200 million to AMP Capital’s Global Infrastructure Fund, a closed-ended, equity-only fund the Sydney-based firm launched in October 2014, as reported by PDI sister title, Infrastructure Investor

“A commitment of this size from such a well-known and established institutional investor is further endorsement of the strength of our strategy,” AMP Capital global head of infrastructure Boe Pahari said in a statement.

OPB was unavailable for comment at the time of writing.

AMP Capital created the platform by converting its Strategic Infrastructure Trust of Europe (SITE) from an open-ended to a closed-ended European structure, whose remit was broadened to acquire additional assets in OECD countries in sectors such as transport, communication and utilities.

OPB’s commitment adds to the $750 million of SITE’s existing assets that AMP used as a seed portfolio for the Global Infrastructure Fund, which has a target of $2 billion. It also adds to a commitment London-based fund of funds manager Pantheon made to the vehicle in October which AMP described as “significant” without disclosing the size of the investment.

“There are an increasing number of investment opportunities in North America, making it an important region for AMP Capital as we grow our business,” said Dylan Foo, AMP Capital head of Americas, infrastructure equity. “We look forward to expanding the global infrastructure strategy by attracting additional commitments from North American investors as well as acquiring high-quality assets in the region for our clients and the strategy.”

AMP has been steadily building its presence in North America. Earlier this month, the firm announced the appointment of Michael Hamilton and Andrew Kirby to its infrastructure equity team in New York, while last month it said it would no longer have a head of global infrastructure based in Australia due to the “increasing internationalization” of the firm. Pahari, who is based in London, was then appointed to the newly-created role of global head of infrastructure equity.

AMP Capital is a specialist investment manager that has been investing in infrastructure for more than 25 years. As of September 30, 2014, the firm had $127 billion in funds under management. In addition to infrastructure, which accounts for $5.6 billion of AMP's assets under management, the firm also invests in fixed income, equities, real estate and multi-asset portfolios.

Founded in the early 1920s, PSPP is one of the oldest pension plans in Canada. It is sponsored by the government of Ontario and serves 72,000 public employees in the Canadian province.

As of December 31, 2013, its administrator, OPB, had approximately C$21 billion (€14.4 billion; $18.0 billion) in assets under management, invested in global equities, fixed income, real estate, private equity and cash and short-term investments. Its allocation to infrastructure stood at 3.2 percent.