Canada's top 10 pension funds tripled in size since 2003 -study
* Top 10 funds now manage assets worth over C$1.1 billion
* One-third of investments are in alternative asset classes
* Strategy has mitigated volatility in global equity markets
By Matt Scuffham
TORONTO, Dec 10 (Reuters) - Canada's biggest 10 public pension funds now manage assets worth more than C$1.1 trillion ($812 billion), having tripled in size since 2003, according to a study published by the Boston Consulting Group on Thursday.
The funds have expanded rapidly in recent years, pursuing a strategy of directly investing in assets globally with an emphasis on real estate and infrastructure projects such as bridges, tunnels and roads. Some pension experts say this approach has helped them mitigate the impact of volatility in global equity markets and challenging economic conditions.
About one-third of the top 10 funds' investments are in alternative asset classes such as infrastructure, private equity and real estate, according to the study, which was commissioned by the top 10 funds.
"The top 10 have shown impressive growth in investment capabilities and scale to manage the realities of a post-financial crisis world," said Craig Hapelt, partner and managing director at BCG.
"Their investments also have a broader positive impact on Canada's prosperity," he added. Continued...