Low-key pension fund that owns $4bn of UK assets

Housed in a discreet Georgian terrace-lined street in Mayfair lies one of the world’s most powerful and influential investors.

Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan – which aims to pay the pensions of 300,00 retired and current Canadian teachers – would appear a cuddlier proposition than some of its hedge fund neighbours, but its deal making prowess is just as relentless.

Teachers’ London office on Curzon Street, its first overseas territory, opened six years ago and houses the European team of Ontario’s private equity unit, Teachers’ Private Capital (TPC), which currently has about $12bn invested in companies around the world and has put $23bn worth to work in total since its formation in 1991. The overall fund, worth $130bn, currently has $4.3bn invested in UK assets alone.

TPC is led by one of Canada’s most influential dealmakers, Jane Rowe (pictured), a former executive of Scotiabank who joined TPC in 2010 and is a frequent visitor to the London office.

Jo Taylor, Teachers’ senior representative in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, heads the London office having joined last year. He is a former executive at 3i.

The opening of the London branch has expanded the fund’s exposure away from the US, where it has 50 per cent of its investments. It snapped up Busy Bees Nursery at the end of October, building on its UK portfolio which includes big stakes in Birmingham and Bristol airport, High Speed 1 and National Lottery owner Camelot. In its homeland it is best known for previously owning hockey team Toronto Maple Leafs, which it sold last year.