OMERS' Asset Rise Prompts Shopping Spree

By Marc Castro

Feb 23, 2013 10:49 PM EST

OMERS, one of Canada's leading pension funds, announced last Friday that it is now in the process of diversifying its portfolio away from traditional areas such as North America, the United Kingdom and Western Europe. While the geography changes, the assets to be targeted remain the same, such as properties, healthcare, infrastructure and energy.

The pension fund manages Ontario's public sector municipal employees has become a global force in acquisitions because of its rich and deep financial backing. As of the moment, the fund is said to be biding its time doing due diligence on opportunities available in the market.

For over a decade now, OMERS has been an active major player in private market assets and has accelerated its rate of acquisitions just after the world was hit by the 2008 recession. It also recently announced that it gained ten percent return on investments for 2012 from private equity, property and infrastructure portfolios. These offset losses and notched gains against the debacle of last year's Alberta oil and gas sector investment in 2012.

Overall, the fund has at its disposal Can$60.8 billion from Can$55.1 billion in 2011.

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