May 10, 2017 / 12:04 AM / 2 months ago

Canadian pension investment manager to expand London operations

3 Min Read

* To grow office to 40 people from 28 within 12 months

* To raise European investments by 20-30 pct over 5 years

* London a leading financial centre despite Brexit - CEO

By Simon Jessop

LONDON, May 10 (Reuters) - The Public Sector Pension Investment Board, one of Canada's largest pension investment managers, said on Wednesday it planned to expand its London operations, hiring staff and boosting investments.

PSP, which manages C$125.8 billion ($92 billion) across a range of markets, said it would increase staffing in London to 40 from 28 over the next 12 months. It opened the office in 2015.

The team will focus on private equity, private debt, infrastructure and real estate, PSP said, and help it to boost investments across Europe by 20-30 percent over the next five years.

The move comes despite uncertainty in the City since Britain's vote last year to leave the European Union, and which prompted some banks, insurers and funds to look at opening or bulking up operations elsewhere in the region.

André Bourbonnais, President and CEO of PSP Investments said London had a number of enduring strengths, including its talent pool, legal system and financial infrastructure. "London has a proven record that it can adapt to the future which means it continues to be a global centre of finance."

"Our own approach is to invest for the long term so while there may be uncertainty in the short term we believe in the long term the UK will remain an important global financial hub."

PSP's previous investments in Europe include a private equity investment in clinical pathology laboratory company Cerba HealthCare; a real estate joint venture with insurer Aviva; and its wholly owned airport infrastructure company AviAlliance.

The group said it also planned to develop strategic partnerships in the region. It has previously joined forces with peers including BC Partners, Permira and CVC Capital Partners.

Established in 1999, Ottawa-based PSP Investments manages retirement money for employees of Canada's federal Public Service, the Canadian Armed Forces, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Reserve Force.

$1 = 1.3679 Canadian dollars Reporting by Simon Jessop, editing by David Evans

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