Representatives of the U.K.’s financial sector have been meeting with Canada’s largest pension plans to learn how British plans might adopt their investment strategies. They are also seeking to drum up more interest from Canadian plans in British infrastructure projects.
The meetings come as the British government embarks on a massive £250-billion five-year infrastructure spree to update things like its energy, transportation and water systems. While the spree is to be funded by both private and public-sector money, the government is still working to attract investors. And it has realized how far behind its own pension funds have fallen, compared to those in Canada, when it comes to investment prowess.
Canadian pension funds are already among the biggest investors in British infrastructure. For example, Borealis Infrastructure (an arm of the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System) and the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan had the winning $3.4-billion bid for the rights to run High Speed One, Britain’s only high-speed rail line.