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Canadian pension fund manager to bring $12bn to Europe?

The firm sees ‘opportunities across Europe for private investments in our sectors of expertise and interest’


Pete Carvill

Caisse de Dépôt et Placement du Québec (CDPQ) plans to invest $12bn in European and UK assets over the next four years, according to the Financial Times.

The story, which was published this week, outlines how CDPQ is looking to place its investment into the UK and France, with Charles Emond, president and chief executive, saying that the firm would also look to invest within Germany, Spain, and the Nordic regions. To buttress these plans, the company plans to increase its staffing in London from 40 to 70 people over the next year-and-a-half.

Emond was a little coy in the interview, saying: “We anticipate growing this figure in the coming years mainly due to opportunities we see across Europe for private investments in our sectors of expertise and interest, including financial services, financial technology, private credit, infrastructure, real estate, healthcare and the energy transition.”

Green asset growth

CPDQ have been in the news a lot this week. A few days ago, AsianInvestor reported that the company was looking to ‘quit oil next year’ in an attempt to reach net-zero in its portfolio by 2050.

Leong Wai Leng, managing director and regional head of Asia Pacific, for the pension fund manager told  the publication that the firm has doubled its green assets between 2017 and 2020. In its 2020 Stewardship Investing Report, the company said that it had decreased the carbon intensity of its total portfolio by 38% in the same time period.

In that report, the company said: “We achieved this reduction by rigorously using carbon budgets, acquiring low-carbon assets and disposing of higher carbon-intensity assets. Given that we have exceeded our reduction target of 25%, in 2021 we will be setting a new target for 2025. We expect to continue our efforts toward achieving a carbon-neutral portfolio by 2050.”

The company has been attempting to move to a net-zero portfolio since 2017 under two pillars. The first was to hold $54bn in green assets by 2025, with the second to reduce carbon intensity by 60% by 2030.

In September, it announced that it was to add two new pillars to its strategy, by first creating a $10bn transition envelope as well as exiting oil production by next year.