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LP interview: Canada Pension Plan Investment Board

For Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, COVID-19 has reinforced the key tenetsof its Asia investment strategy, from being flexible on timeline to puttingboots on the ground

COVID-19 and its accompanying disruption have created unprecedented challenges for investors of all kinds, regardless of size. “It is different from previous cycles we've experienced. There are still many things we don't know about the virus and the uncertainty on future economic impact is significant,” says Frank Su (pictured), head of Asia private equity at Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB).

Nevertheless, the C$434 billion ($329 billion) pension fund has seen no change in its investment strategies or its approaches to due diligence as a result of the pandemic. On the contrary, Su believes CPPIB’s two basic mandates have been enhanced.

First, the group takes a long-term view supported by a flexible exit strategy. While the investment team works to a five year-exit model, there is no obligation to seek liquidity just because a business has been sitting in the portfolio for a long time. “The philosophy is we want to continue support companies for their growth. We take a very flexible approach. We are not constrained to a time framework., so we can actually guide our portfolio companies to taking that longer-term view as well,” Su explains.

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