Briefing

Caisse de dépôt sees below benchmark returns, increase in international exposure in 2019

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In its annual report, Quebec’s public pension fund manager highlighted its 9.2 per cent annualized return over 10 years and a 158 per cent increase of its net assets to $340.1 billion since 2009. Its investments in private Quebec companies had a similar-sized increase over the last decade, to the tune of $47.6 billion. Meanwhile, the Caisse announced a partnership with the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and increased investments in the U.S., India, Brazil and Colombia. (The Logic)

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Talking point: Delayed by COVID-19, the Caisse’s annual report harkens back to the relatively rosy pre-pandemic days. Its decision to cut back on commercial real estate investments, announced before the pandemic took hold, now looks prescient, as does the idea to convert some of its remaining shopping centres to residential housings and logistics space. Still, the pandemic will test the Caisse’s investment strategy. “Beyond the initial shock, it appears difficult at this stage to predict the duration of the pandemic and its repercussions on the economy and markets. But we can expect that the return to normal will be very gradual and not without obstacles,” reads the report.