The Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) is not new to London. It's had an office in the city for at least a decade, but it is growing and it is hiring - heavily.
CPPIB's recruitment activities first came to our attention last year, when we noted a sudden influx of juniors from Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank and Bank of America Merrill Lynch. London private equity recruiters say the fund has continued to hire in large numbers this year - a fact confirmed by the addition of at least 11 new London staff since January, many of them from investment banks.
The Canadian fund's most recent hire is Dushy Sivanithy, who joined as a senior principal in September after a long career in private equity since quitting Morgan Stanley over a decade ago. Other recent 2018 recruits include Rochelle de Oliveira from HSBC (for active fundamental equities), Marcus Peel from Axa (for real estate), Shavir Nagarwalla from Hilltop Fund Management, a hedge fund fund of funds (for emerging markets), Laura Yang from UBS (for infrastructure), Suhae James from Linklaters (for investment strategy), and Matthew Lee from Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Francesco Poletti from Citi (for direct private equity).
In January 2018 CPPIB also added Matteo Barchiesi from Perella Weinberg, Selina Yan from Rothschild and Timothy Farquharson from private equity fund Clayton Dubilier & Rice.
In any other sector, the addition of 11 staff would be no big deal, but most private equity funds are small entities that add a handful of staff each year - at most. The Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board is therefore an anomaly.
The plan's most recent accounts help explain its enthusiasm for recruiting. With a massive CA$356.1bn (US$277bn) under management, CPPIB is attempting to diversify away from passive management and towards active management as it chases returns. In the process, it's extending its reach globally with international offices in Hong Kong and London.
All the hiring in the UK is already paying off. CPPIB's 2017 accounts showed that had just 2% of its assets invested in the UK; in 2018 this was up to 5.6%. More hires may be expected in future. Women especially may want to apply: the Canadian fund has a target for gender parity across new hires by 2020.
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