The Public Sector Pension Investment Board earned a 12.8 per cent net return in its 2017 fiscal year, bringing its net assets under management to $135.6 billion.
That’s a significant increase from last year, when it earned a one per cent return. In 2015, it earned a 14.5 per cent return.
Private debt and natural resources saw the strongest returns, at 27.5 per cent and 19.5 per cent, respectively. Public markets posted a 16 per cent return, infrastructure a 14.4 per cent return and real estate a 10.8 per cent return. Private equity was the only asset class that saw a negative return, at minus 3.4 per cent.
“While substantial volatility and international uncertainty remain, we continue to pursue our objective of navigating market fluctuations with a long-term investment horizon and well-diversified global footprint,” André Bourbonnais, president and chief executive officer at PSP Investments, said in a statement.
Significant real estate investments during the 2017 fiscal year included seniors’ properties in Canada, the United States and Britain. The pension fund also invested in student housing and a large office project in Britain, as well as new developments in Mexico, Colombia and China.
In terms of private equity, PSP Investments acquired significant interests in the U.S. physician services organization Team Health, global advisory firm AlixPartners, animal intelligence technology company Allflex Group, and Keter Group, which makes resin consumer products. The pension fund has also committed to acquiring Cerba Healthcare, which operates clinical pathology laboratories in Europe, before the new fiscal year ends.
Natural resources activities include new projects in Australia and the United States and expanding four existing agricultural investments.
On the infrastructure side, major investments include hydroelectric assets in New England, and larger stakes in the renewable energy platform Cubico, as well as ROADIS, which owns 1,644 kilometres of roads in Brazil, Mexico, India, Spain and the United States.
When it comes to public markets, PSP Investments created an internal global equity research and investment platform that will provide sector and company-specific information.
In the past year, the pension fund also opened a European hub in London, England, and completed staffing its New York office to focus on private debt and private investment opportunities. It also created a responsible investment group and total fund portfolios to better identify opportunities and deploy capital.
Note: The story was updated at 12:15 pm.