PSP Investments delivers solid financial returns in a complex investment environment

  • Net assets under management as of March 31, 2024 increase to $264.9 billion.
  • Fiscal year ends at March 31, 2024 with one-year return of 7.2%.
  • Ten-year net annualized return of 8.3% leads to $24.5 billion in cumulative net investment gains above Reference Portfolio, indicative of long-term added value through strategic asset allocation and active management decisions.

MONTRÉAL, June 17, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — The Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP Investments) ended its fiscal year on March 31, 2024, with a 7.2% one-year net portfolio return and with strong performances delivered by the Public Market Equities, Infrastructure, and Credit Investments portfolios. This performance continues PSP Investments’ track record of delivering strong long-term returns through a total fund approach to portfolio construction and through the benefits of active management.

Net assets under management grew to $264.9 billion, up 8.7% from $243.7 billion at the end of the previous fiscal year. Net transfers received from the federal government represented $3.5 billion and $17.8 billion of net income was generated.

PSP Investments takes a long-term investment approach that considers pension funding risk and measures success at the total fund level through the following performance objectives:

  • Achieve a return, net of expenses, greater than the return of the Reference Portfolio over a 10-year period: By the end of fiscal year 2024, PSP Investments achieved a 10-year net annualized return of 8.3%, which represents $24.5 billion in cumulative net investment gains above the Reference Portfolio and an outperformance of 1.1% per annum.
  • Achieve a return, net of expenses, exceeding the Total Fund Benchmark return over 10-year and 5-year periods: By the end of fiscal year 2024, PSP Investments achieved a 10-year net annualized return of 8.3% against the Total Fund Benchmark return of 6.7%, and a five-year net annualized return of 7.9% against the Total Fund Benchmark return of 5.3%. This represents $31.5 billion in excess net investment gains over 10 years and $27.2 billion in excess net investment gains over five years.

Focusing on our strengths with coordinated excellence
“As we look to the future, we will continue to focus on our strengths to deliver strong long-term performance and a resilient portfolio in the face of external forces that will impact our investment environment,” said Deborah K. Orida, President and CEO at PSP Investments. “We are an active global investment organization with proven capabilities to invest across major asset classes on a global scale for the long-term.”

“We recorded positive returns against a backdrop of the volatility of the last few years dominated by geopolitical uncertainty, inflation and rising interest rates,” said Eduard van Gelderen, Senior Vice President and Chief Investment Officer at PSP Investments. “As investors, we strive to build a robust portfolio, capable of withstanding market volatility and navigate a wide range of outcomes so we can consistently meet our mandate. PSP Investments’ performance showcases the strength and resilience of our portfolio and the caliber of talent of our people.”

“PSP Investments is honoured to manage the amounts transferred to us by the government of Canada to help support the pension funds of approximately 900,000 beneficiaries and contributors who have protected and served Canada,” added Ms. Orida. “As we pursue our mission and mandate, we are also proud to contribute to the Canadian economy through investments in companies that are creating quality jobs for Canadians, supporting communities, advancing the transition to a low-carbon future, and investing in innovation. Our $56 billion exposure to Canadian assets includes significant investments in public equities, real estate, natural resources, and infrastructure.”

According to a report released by data platform Global SWF, PSP Investments ranked among the world’s top 10 public pension funds and sovereign wealth funds that generated the largest compound annualized returns between 2013 and 2022. The report found PSP Investments had the second largest 10-year annualized rate of return of the Canadian plans who made the list and the sixth-largest 10-year annualized rate of return in comparison to the public pension funds and sovereign wealth funds listed in the report.

In fiscal year 2024, PSP Investments delivered on its strategic and operational priorities, effectively enhancing its investment capabilities in an increasingly complex investment environment. The organization continued its cost discipline and strengthened its talent pool to remain competitive in global markets. This approach led to an operating cost ratio of 29.5 bps, which is indicative of PSP Investments’ continued commitment to diligent cost management.

Investment highlights

ASSET CLASS
(at March 31, 2024)

NET ASSETS UNDER
MANAGEMENT1

ONE-YEAR
RETURN

FIVE-YEAR
RETURN

TEN-YEAR
RETURN

Public Markets Equities

$55.6B

17.5 %

10.3 %

9.8 %

Fixed Income

$56.2B

2.9 %

2.0 %

3.4 %

Private Equity

$40.4B

12.1 %

14.8 %

11.0 %

Credit Investments

$26.2B

14.2 %

9.8 %

11.6%2

Real Estate

$27.2B

(15.9) %

0.9 %

6.1 %

Infrastructure

$34.5B

14.3 %

12.0 %

12.2 %

Natural Resources

$15.2B

4.1 %

7.0 %

9.7 %

Complementary Portfolio

$2.4B

20.6 %

9.8 %

11.5%3

_________________________________

1 This table excludes Cash and Cash equivalents. All amounts in Canadian dollars, unless stated otherwise.

2 Actualized return since inception (8.3 years).

3 Actualized return since inception (7.2 years).  

At March 31, 20244:

Capital Markets, comprised of Public Market Equities and Fixed Income, ended the fiscal year with $111.8 billion of net AUM, an increase of $13.3 billion from the end of fiscal year 2023. Public Market Equities, which uses a combination of active and passive strategies as well as alternative investments, ended the fiscal year with a net AUM of $55.6 billion. The five-year annualized absolute return of 10.3% outperformed the benchmark of 8.8%. Over this period, both actively managed public equity investments and alternative investments contributed positively. Fixed Income, managed using a combination of Global Sovereign Interest Rates and Emerging Market Debt, ended the fiscal year with a net AUM of $56.2 billion, an increase of $11.2 billion from the end of fiscal year 2023. Its annualized five-year return of 2.0% outperformed the five-year benchmark of 1.6% due to its strategic management and long-term investment horizon.

Private Equity ended the fiscal year with a net AUM of $40.4 billion and generated portfolio income of $4.5 billion. The five-year annualized return of 14.8% outperformed the benchmark return of 12.1%, showcasing the benefits of well-established partnerships with leading fund managers and the quality of the co-investment portfolio. Private Equity investments in the financials and healthcare sectors strongly contributed to the value-add. The asset class generated over $4.5 billion in cash distributions in fiscal year 2024 for a cumulative total of $32.5 billion over the last five years.

Credit Investments ended the fiscal year with a net AUM of $26.2 billion and generated portfolio income of $3.5 billion. The 9.8% five-year annualized return outperformed the 4.9% benchmark return due to strong credit selection, higher interest spreads versus the benchmark, and fee income. Credit Investments has strong differentiated capabilities due to team expertise in technology, industrials, and healthcare. All three sectors have generated significant outperformance compared to the relevant sector benchmarks. In the fiscal year, the asset class realized $6.2 billion of divestitures, mainly due to higher levels of borrower repricing activity linked to a resurgence of the syndicated loan market.

Real Estate ended the fiscal year with a net AUM of $27.2 billion and generated a portfolio loss of $(5.1) billion. The five-year annualized return of 0.9% outperformed the 0.7% benchmark return, despite this fiscal year’s negative return. The negative revaluation of the portfolio over the last two years was mostly driven by higher interest rates and structural changes. The traditional office sector, particularly in North America, continues to be significantly impacted by a deterioration in occupancy and rents, reflecting uncertainty around the hybrid working model and amplified by the scarcity of available financing. The performance of the impacted sectors was partially mitigated by the global logistics and alternative residential sectors such as student housing.  Pursuant to the revision of the group’s investment strategy, Real Estate continues to prune the portfolio, optimize partner relationships and transact in key sectors and select markets worldwide.

Infrastructure ended the fiscal year with a net AUM of $34.5 billion and generated portfolio income of $4.3 billion. The five-year annualized return of 12.0% significantly outperformed the 4.5% benchmark return. The portfolio outperformance was primarily driven by strong operating performance, high inflation linkage and downside protection. The portfolio also benefited from the value-add of its platforms, which provide strategic and competitive advantages. Investments in the data center and transportation subsectors, have significantly outperformed, supported by strong fundamentals and favourable market conditions. In fiscal year 2024, the asset class invested $4.0 billion of capital including new investments in Canada that support the energy transition.

Natural Resources ended the fiscal year with a net AUM of $15.2 billion and generated portfolio income of $0.6 billion. The five-year annualized return of 7.0% outperformed the (1.8)% benchmark return. The positive results reflect PSP’s long-term investment horizon and strong operating performance with like-minded, best-in-class, local operating partners. The portfolio also benefited from significant downside protection and inflation linkage. This allowed the portfolio to remain resilient in a rising rates environment that negatively impacted its benchmark.

___________________________________

4 In alignment with PSP Investments’ corporate policy not to hedge foreign currency exposure, the benchmarks for Private Equity, Credit Investments, Real Estate, Infrastructure and Natural Resources are set such that they remain neutral to currency movements, meaning that the actual currency return impact on these asset classes is reflected in the benchmark.

Canada Growth Fund

In spring 2023, PSP Investments was announced by the Government of Canada as the investment manager for the Canada Growth Fund (CGF), a $15 billion investment vehicle established to support the growth of Canada’s clean economy. We are honoured to have been appointed to this role, in recognition of our investment expertise and track record, mature and scalable operational ecosystem, and governance framework that is independent and at arm’s length from the government. CGF is managed separately and independently from PSP Investments’ pension investment mandate.

Since then, Canada Growth Fund Investment Management Inc., has rapidly ramped up investment management activities, leading to multiple investment announcements in fiscal year 2024. For more information about the activities of CGF, visit https://www.cgf-fcc.ca/ or consult CGF’s first annual report.

Corporate highlights

Our mission, mandate, and strong sense of duty inform our decisions, underpin our success, and shape our strategies and culture. In addition to delivering solid performance and being well positioned for continued growth, PSP Investments continued to make important progress on strategic priorities.

Key accomplishments for the fiscal year 2024:

  • We developed a three-year strategic plan that leverages PSP Investments’ unique strengths as we aim to enhance our capabilities to deliver superior risk-adjusted returns, manage funding risk and execute with coordinated excellence to maintain a high level of stakeholder trust.
  • We further enhanced our climate investing capabilities across asset classes, portfolio construction and enhanced data collection. By integrating material climate change considerations into our investment process, we aim to mitigate risks and capitalize on value creation opportunities in the transition to a low-carbon economy. More details about PSP Investments’ progress on sustainability and climate innovation will become available later this fall as part of our upcoming 2024 sustainability report.
  • We reinforced the importance of our mission and refreshed our core values, emphasizing how they guide our actions and decisions, ensuring that we foster a culture where we can excel, individually and collectively, and tap into our diverse experiences to improve performance.
  • Effective April 1, 2024, Mr. Patrick Charbonneau, President and Chief Executive Officer, Canada Growth Fund Investment Management, joined PSP Investments’ senior management team.

For more information on PSP Investments’ fiscal year 2024 performance, download the annual report here.

About PSP Investments
The Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP Investments) is one of Canada’s largest pension investors with $264.9 billion of net assets under management as of March 31, 2024. It manages a diversified global portfolio composed of investments in capital markets, private equity, real estate, infrastructure, natural resources, and credit investments. Established in 1999, PSP Investments manages and invests amounts transferred to it by the Government of Canada for the pension plans of the federal Public Service, the Canadian Forces, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Reserve Force. Headquartered in Ottawa, PSP Investments has its principal business office in Montréal and offices in New York, London and Hong Kong. For more information, visit investpsp.com or follow us on LinkedIn.

Media Contact : Maria Constantinescu, PSP Investments, Phone: (514) 218-3795, Email: media@investpsp.ca

View original content to download multimedia: Read More