04/27/2012 07:45 EDT | Updated 06/27/2012 05:12 EDT

OMERS, Japanese partners establish US$7.5B global strategic investment fund

TORONTO - The pension plan representing municipal workers in Ontario has joined with two Japanese partners in officially launching a US$7.5-billion global investment fund.

The newly minted Global Strategic Investment Alliance brings together the investment arm of the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System, Japan’s PFA and a consortium led by Mitsubishi Corp..

OMERS has anted up US$5 billion in the first close and PFA and Mitsubishi-led Japan Infrastructure Investment Partners LP $1.25 billion apiece.

"We're very pleased to be partnering with these sophisticated investors in pursuit of high-quality, large infrastructure investments that we can own over the long term," said Jacques Demers, president and CEO of OMERS Strategic Investments.

"Based upon the feedback in the market, we anticipate welcoming a number of other forward-thinking pension plans and other long-term institutional investors from around the world into the GSIA over the next 12 to 18 months," Demers added.

That would being in billions of dollars more in commitments to the fund, he said.

The GSIA's goal is to have institutional investors in North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific and the Middle East work together in pursuit of large-scale infrastructure investments, mainly in North America and western Europe.

All GSIA investments will be originated and managed by OMERS' infrastructure investment arm, Borealis Infrastructure, which is a leading global full service infrastructure investment management company, OMERS said in release.

Administrative support services to the investment program will be provided by Rosewater Global, an OMERS affiliate.

OMERS is one of Canada's largest pension funds with over $55.1 billion in net assets. Its almost 420,000 members represented one in every 20 employees working in Ontario.