Ontario Teachers’ opens India office in Mumbai; ropes in HDFC’s Keki Mistry as advisor | The Financial Express

Ontario Teachers’ opens India office in Mumbai; ropes in HDFC’s Keki Mistry as advisor

Ontario Teachers’ India plans come at a time when it’s larger Canadian peer CPP Investments has invested  C$19.6 billion in India across real estate, infrastructure, public and private equities, funds and credit.

Ontario Teachers’ opens India office in Mumbai; ropes in HDFC’s Keki Mistry as advisor
A week ago, Ontario Teachers' said it would acquire a 30% stake in Mahindra Susten, part of Mahindra group for an equity value of Rs 2,371 crore ($300 million)

By Raghavendra Kamath

Big bets of Ontario Teachers’ 

# In April this year,  announced investment of Rs 1330 crore in KKR’s India roads portfolio in April this year.

# In August 2022, it bought a majority stake in Sahyadri Hospitals from Everstone Group

# In September this year, signed pact to buy 30 % in Mahindra Susten for Rs 2371 crore 

# It has also committed $1 billion to the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund

After several big bets in Indian infrastructure space,  Canadian pension fund manager Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board today said it has opened its India office in Mumbai which will be its sixth global and third office in Asia Pacific.

Ontario Teachers ‘, which has investments of C$3 billion (Rs 18,374 crore )in India, follows its bigger Canadian peers such as CPPIB and CDPQ which have set up offices in financial hub of Bandra Kurla Complex in Mumbai. Ontario Teachers ‘ has assets of C$242.5 billion ( Rs 14.85 lakh crore)globally.

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A week ago, Ontario Teachers’  said it would acquire 30% stake in Mahindra Susten, the renewable energy arm Mahindra group,  for an equity value of Rs 2,371 crore ($300 million). The duo is looking to float a infrastructure investment trust (InVIT). Over the next seven years, Ontario Teachers’ has committed to deploy an additional amount of up to Rs 3,550 crore ($450 million) into the business and the InvIT.

With its presence here, Indian companies would get access to large sums of long term money, said Ajay Jain, chairman of Monal Capital, a investment banking firm in Mumbai.

“OTPPB is largely focussed on real estate, infrastructure, natural resources, capital market and Equities. They provide long term funding and large sums for projects. Corporates present in these sectors and products will greatly benefit and get access to alternate source of funding,” Jain said.

The fund manager has bet big on Indian infrastructure space.

It has invested Rs1,500 crore in NHAI’s roads InvIT. In April this year,  it announced investment of Rs 1330 crore in KKR’s India roads portfolio in April this year. It has also committed $1 billion to the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund.

In August this year, it said it has agreed to acquire a significant majority stake in Sahyadri Hospitals chain from the Everstone Group in its first buyout deal in the county .

Ontario Teachers’ India plans come at a time when it’s larger Canadian peer CPP Investments has invested  C$19.6 billion in India across real estate, infrastructure, public and private equities, funds and credit. This formed 3.6 per cent of the fund’s total worldwide assets as of December 31, 2021.

CPP Investments has also big plans for public and private equities, private credit, real estate, infrastructure and so on in the country, it said last year.

Ontario Teachers’ said Mumbai office will target investments in the country across all asset classes, including public and private equities, infrastructure, real estate, credit and venture and growth equity.

“India is an attractive investment destination and will be one of our growth markets over the next 5-10 years.  It has a large, growing, and dynamic economy, with openness to foreign capital which makes it a strategically important market for us,” said Jo Taylor, president and chief executive officer, Ontario Teachers.

A founding team of approximately 10 team members will be based in Ontario Teachers’ Mumbai office by the end of 2022, comprising a mix of local talent and transfers from its other offices, it said.

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The fund manager has roped in Keki Mistry, vice chairman & CEO Of HDFC as a senior advisor. In his global advisory role, Mistry is helping to further enhance Ontario Teachers’ market reach, providing access to a high-quality network and opportunities, and sharing guidance on market dynamics. He is not involved in the day-to-day operations of Ontario Teachers’ business, it clarified.

“I’m pleased to be partnering with Ontario Teachers’, one of the world’s preeminent institutional investors. I look forward to helping Ontario Teachers’ to continue to build its network and portfolio,”  Mistry said.

Ben Chan, executive managing director and head of Asia-Pacific, manages Ontario Teachers’ activities in the region including oversight of its Hong Kong, Singapore and Mumbai offices.

Ontario Teachers appointed Deepak Dara as a senior managing director and head of India and will take on this role in early 2023. . He will report to Chan.

“The last 12 months saw a marked growth in our investment activities in India, and I am enthusiastic about the opportunity to further build out our presence, networks and capabilities in the country,”  Dara said.

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