CPPIB assets under management jump to C$148.2 billion

Thu May 19, 2011 3:11pm EDT
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By Pav Jordan

TORONTO (Reuters) - The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, which manages the country's national pension fund, said on Thursday its assets under management rose to a record C$148.2 billion ($152.8 billion) in fiscal 2011.

The fund manager said its portfolio returned 11.9 percent for the year ended March 31, compared with a 14.9 percent return in the year-earlier period.

CPPIB and other Canadian pension fund administrators took advantage of long-term investment horizons -- as far out as 50 or 75 years in some cases -- to scoop up cheap assets in the wake of the global financial crisis.

CPPIB'S president and chief executive, David Denison, said assets under management were projected to continue to grow rapidly over coming decades, to C$275 billion by 2020, C$465 billion by 2030, and over C$1 trillion by 2050.

"Even at that point, looking that far ahead, the projected annual income, investment gains on the portfolio, will still be four times the amount that is required to be drawn from the fund to help supplement contributions, to meet payments to pensioners," he said.

CPPIB invests on behalf of 17 million Canadian contributors and beneficiaries.

CPPIB's asset base was driven higher in fiscal 2011 by C$15.5 billion in investment income and C$5.4 billion in net Canada Pension Plan contributions.

The plan's asset mix saw a slight shift in the year toward ownership of more foreign assets, with 51.7 percent of the portfolio comprised of assets outside of Canada.   Continued...