HOOPP sets up London office for global reach

Canadian pension fund joins the ranks of investors flocking to the UK

HOOPP sets up London office for global reach

The Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP) has announced its plans to open an office in London as part of its global expansion strategy. This move signifies a growing confidence among investors in the United Kingdom, where post-Brexit reforms are being implemented to attract more capital and regain ground lost to financial hubs like New York.

A spokesperson for HOOPP expressed their optimism about London. “We see value in London as a hub to effectively support and manage HOOPP's growing assets,” they said.

More details about this expansion are expected to be disclosed in the near future, the spokesperson added.

Other Canadian pension funds and Australia's two largest schemes have also shown interest in investing in the UK.

In February, the British Columbia Investment Management Corporation (BCI) announced the opening of its office in London for its infrastructure and renewable resources team, with the goal of targeting more investments in the UK and across Europe. The pension fund has engaged with local officials, including the City of London Corporation, to discuss their plans.

“A lot of people are looking at UK assets at the moment,” Tom Thackeray, a partner at headhunting firm Heidrick & Struggles, who works closely with private capital funds, said, attributing the interest in part to the scarcity of high-quality assets.

Job recruiters in London have observed a rising trend of foreign pension funds setting up operations in the city to attract talent and gain better access to local investment opportunities.

“Those with a global viewpoint generally see the strong upside in the UK,” Ghada Sousou, CEO of recruitment firm Sousou Partners, explained. “This is thanks to geographic positioning, cosmopolitan lifestyle, top schooling and relatively low political and economic risk.”

While HOOPP does not disclose its investments by region, its real estate holdings have been steadily increasing outside of Canada, growing by 11.4% in 2022 and now accounting for nearly half of its portfolio, according to the fund's annual reports.

Out of the top 10 Canadian pension schemes, eight already have established offices in London.