Canadian Pension Funds - VC/Growth Equity

Was curious if anyone had thoughts on the VC/Growth Equity arms of the Canadian pension funds (e.g. CPPIB Thematic Investing, OTPP Teachers' Innovation Platform, OMERS Ventures/Growth Equity).

I imagine these are roles where you can learn a ton, but any views on the day to day? Does it end up being too slow/bureaucratic for it to be interesting?

Would appreciate any thoughts here.

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Comments (6)

Oct 4, 2021 - 10:48pm

I know the most about OMERS Ventures, and that is a great shop. Not only do they have the resources of being a large pension platform, but they actually have external LPs. OMERS and Georgian are the two biggest VC capital allocators in Canada, and OMERS is expanding. They have a UK office and just expanded to the valley. CPP thematic I've only chatted with one person before, but it sounds great. TIP is new and mostly just fund investments / co investments, but from my conversations with them that is changing rapidly as they expand. They also just opened a Singapore office and are going with the general OTPP trend of Asian exposure.

Most Helpful
Oct 5, 2021 - 12:10am

Can't speak to bureaucracy / process, but just on their experience in VC, OMERS Ventures is a solid shop with a lot of industry experience. They are fairly broad, multi-stage, and active. They have also put resources to their Bay Area and London office. 
 

OTPP TIP - Later stage investing (Series C+ to pre-IPO), have invested in some pretty big names like SpaceX and EPIC. Direct and fund investing. They have a UK and Asia presence as well. Heard they're quite active. Some folks came from the infra team, because the group head was previously head (or one of the most senior investors) in infra PE team, before she built out TIP.

Less info on CPPIB TI - I know they have both a public and private team within TI, and they look at a couple select themes in Fintech or autonomous vehicles and data. There's also a separate VC team, but from what I know they are more funds focused.

  • Analyst 1 in PE - Growth
Oct 5, 2021 - 11:43am

OTPP's team is probably the fastest growing team out of all that was mentioned. They are targeting around ~3B capital deployment per year which translates to them doing a lot of deals with big logos. They are rapidly expanding with offices in SF, Toronto, London, HK. A lot of recent hires came from excellent buy-side firms like Accel, KKR, Ares, Sequoia.

CPPIB invest in a lot of the same names that OTPP has access to. However, their brand is less under the radar and doesn't seem to be as fast growing as OTPP. Many of their team came from traditional investment banking. They tend to invest in the biggest names in their respective sector but do less deals per year. 

  • Analyst 2 in ER
Oct 12, 2021 - 9:31pm

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