Canadian Fund Choses Singapore Over HK For Asian Office
SINGAPORE – Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo), which has about US$129 billion assets under manager (AUM), is eyeing Singapore rather than rival financial hub Hong Kong for its maiden office in Asia, reported Bloomberg on Wednesday (13 July, SGT).
This comes as the Canadian fund plans a global expansion for its private equity arm and intends to increase its allocation to investments in the region. To achieve these goals, it needs employees on the ground, and Singapore has obvious advantages than Hong Kong, said Peter Teti, Head of private equity at AIMCo.
“Singapore is increasingly attractive relative to other places like Hong Kong that are close to China and that have experienced some geopolitical issues.”
The Canadian fund “will have a pan-Asian strategy as opposed to just, for example, a Chinese strategy. Singapore seems to be a potentially logical place to have a base, through which you can invest across Asia Pacific and that will include Australia, New Zealand as well,” he explained.
The Southeast Asian nation is attracting capital and financial jobs partly due to concerns over China’s regulatory crackdown and the situation in Hong Kong.
As a matter of fact, it was reported in June 2022 that BlackRock is in negotiations to double its office space at Singapore’s 20 Anson Road office building.
AIMCo is following in the footsteps of other Canadian funds that have opened an office in Singapore, Teti noted. Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan established an office here two years ago. Ontario pension fund OMERS also has a presence here, likewise for the Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec.
In 2021, merely 2 percent of AIMCo’s US$6.3 billion in private equity assets were located in Asia. The Canadian fund invests in private deals directly and via funds, including those managed by FountainVest Partners Co and Baring Private Equity Asia.
Notably, Edmonton-based AIMCo handles money for a number of pension plans and other government funds in Alberta, a province with a population of 4.5 million that generates most of Canada’s oil.