Canadian pension OMERS’s APAC private equity head departs

David Payne, a Singapore-based managing director responsible for Asia investments at Canadian pension fund OMERS’s private equity arm, has left the division.

Buyouts Insider first reported the executive’s departure on Wednesday.

OMERS spokesperson Neil Hrab confirmed Payne’s exit to DealStreetAsia but did not comment on queries on the selection or appointment of a successor.

Payne joined OMERS Private Equity in 2009 as a founding member of the European team in London. He became the head of the pension fund’s Asia private equity activities in 2018 when it opened its Singapore office.

OMERS Private Equity team in Singapore currently comprises Jeffrey French, a director at the unit, and Derek Ng, an associate director, according to the pension fund’s website.

Prior to Payne’s departure, Adam Mendes, who was responsible for tax structuring and tax oversight of OMERS investments in the Americas and Asia-Pacific, was reported to have left the firm in April by Pensions & Investments.

OMERS is one of Canada’s largest pension plans with C$109 billion in net assets by the end of 2019. Its private equity family includes OMERS Private Equity, which had C$15.7 billion in net investment portfolio in 2019, OMERS Growth Equity and OMERS Ventures.

The growth equity programme makes minority equity investments between C$50 million to C$250 million in high-growth companies in industries such as healthcare and technology, while the venture capital unit invests in technology businesses in the Series A to C stage, with investments ranging between C$5 million and C$25 million.

The pension fund’s exposure to the Asia Pacific slightly increased to 8.2 per cent in 2019 compared to 7.8 per cent in 2018. The majority of its investments have been in Canada and the US.

In the Asia Pacific, OMERS recently acquired an additional 7 per cent stake in Warburg Pincus-backed logistics real estate developer ESR to boost its holding to 15.96 per cent. The deal was reportedly valued at HK$3.8 billion ($490 million).

It also acquired a 19.9 per cent stake in Australian electricity transmission company TransGrid. Australian Financial Review estimated the deal to be worth more than A$2 billion ($1.4 billion).

Earlier in 2019, OMERS spent $121 million for a 22.4 per cent stake in IndInfravit Trust, marking its foray in India’s infrastructure sector.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.