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TORONTO-The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board plans to have an asset portfolio of $227 billion within a decade. In a bid to manage this, the board plans to recruit another 130 people within 18 months in addition to the 170 it already employs and hire at least two outside firms to help run the assets.

The cash-rich fund is responsible for the country’s state-financed retirement plan but is struggling to find enough investment opportunities in Canada. “We want to build our internal capabilities,” Donald Raymond, vice president of public market investments, says. “We’re going to solidify our base here over the next year or two, and then we will send some people over to start offices.”

The board is considering opening offices in London and Hong Kong to oversee private-equity and real-estate investments, he explains. As of March 31, the board had $4.4 billion invested in private equity and $4.2 billion in real estate.

Graeme Eadie, head of real estate at the CPP Investment Board, provided more detail at a real estate conference in Toronto. He highlighted the need to diversify, a weight of money to invest and insufficient opportunities in Canada as factors driving the expansion of funds abroad.

Eadie suggested the focus would be Western Europe, because of the balance of risk and rewards it offers and the current opportunities. “There is not enough quality real estate inside Canada that we could build a portfolio of any size. This is a small country with lots of money. We are forced to go outside,” Eadie said.

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