CPP Investments is among global top 10 real estate investors for 2021

CPP among global top 10 real estate investors

Friday, May 14, 2021

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPP Investments) retains eighth position among the global top 10 real estate investors for 2021, based on the recent annual rankings from IPE Real Assets. It’s one of five pension plan managers on the list, along with three global insurance/asset management firms and two sovereign wealth funds.

Collectively, the top 10 hold USD $487.5 billion in real estate assets, with CPP Investments’ USD $43.1-billion (CAD $52.58 billion) stake equating to an 8.8 per cent share of that tally. Of note for all Canadians who are or will some day be beneficiaries, both CPP Investments’ real estate portfolio and total assets have grown in value since IPE, a European based institutional investment analyst and news service, surveyed the field in 2020.

Currently, real estate accounts for about 9 per cent of CPP’s total assets, which are valued at USD $476 billion (CAD $580.7 billion). In 2020, it held USD $36 billion (CAD $43.9 billion) in real estate, representing 11.6 per cent of total assets, which were valued at USD $309 billion (CAD $377 billion) at the time.

Nine of this year’s 10 leading real estate investors also made the list last year, with the top four — Allianz Global Investors, Netherlands-based pension fund manager APG, China Investment Corporation and Abu Dhabi Investment Authority — replicating their 2020 standing. California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) is the new entrant for 2021, replacing Qatar Investment Authority in the 10th spot.

The U.S. Teachers’ Insurance and Annuity Association (TIAA) slips one place to rank sixth this year, while AXA Investment Managers moves up from seventh to fifth. There has also been some jostling in the positioning immediately around CPP Investments, with Swiss Life moving one notch above, to seventh, and California State Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) dropping to ninth.

CalPERS is the sole top 10 investor to trim its real estate holdings over the previous 12 months — from USD $40.9 billion to USD $37.3 in assets — evidenced in a slide down from the sixth spot in 2020. Nevertheless, it registered a 7 per cent value gain in its total holdings, growing from USD $370 billion to USD $396 billion, since the time of last year’s rankings.

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