Pension Fund Investment


Osler is one of the few law firms in Canada with a dedicated Pension Fund Investment Group. The group uses a team approach to provide clients with seamless integrated tax and pension advice on investments by pension plans and other tax-exempt entities in alternative investments (investments in private equity, real estate and infrastructure). We can also call on the other legal experts in our firm to provide specialized advice in areas such as real estate, corporate finance, commercial law and competition. These experts can review the fund documentation and identify what the risks are and how you can reduce those risks.

Cutting Edge Legal Advice – Our team of experts from the pension, tax, corporate and real estate practices assists some of the largest pension funds in Canada in structuring their alternative investments in a manner that achieves the plan’s financial objectives while maintaining its tax-exempt status (and any tax-exempt subsidiaries). We are familiar with most types of vehicles used for alternative investments, and we bring to the table a practical, business-oriented approach. And as our clients invest in ever-more complex and sophisticated structures, we evolve with them, providing innovative and creative solutions to novel issues.

Regulatory Environment – Pension plan investment is subject to pension and tax laws that many entities employing alternative investments are not. In order for pension plans (and tax-exempt pension subsidiaries) to retain their tax-exempt status they must comply with a complex set of tax and pension standards rules. Osler has worked with these rules for many years and can assist pension funds to structure their investments in a tax-efficient manner that complies with the rules, while, at the same time, achieving the plan’s business objectives.

Seamless Cross-Border Service – We also provide U.S. tax advice with respect to U.S. investments. Members of our U.S. tax group have extensive experience advising Canadian pension plans and other tax exempt entities with respect to structuring their U.S. investments.  

Asset Management & Investment Funds Our investment funds and asset management team advise on the structuring, formation, taxation and regulation of all types of investment funds investing across varying asset classes, both traditional and alternative investments, and investment strategies. Our team’s combined technical expertise and market-based experience allows us to scope work accurately, manage risks effectively and successfully deliver a cost-effective result.  Our clients include leading asset managers, alternative investment funds, private equity funds, insurance and trust companies, and commercial and investment banks. 

Related Expertise

Paul Litner

Partner, Pensions & Benefits

Jack Silverson

Partner, Taxation

John Groenewegen

Partner, Corporate
  • Canada Pension Plan Investment Board

    Canada Pension Plan Investment Board in its investment through a private placement of subscription receipts as a cornerstone investor of TORC Oil & Gas

  • OPTrust Private Markets Group

    OPTrust Private Markets Group in its investment in Ackerman Security Systems

  • TPG Capital LP

    TPG in its agreement to form a partnership and acquire the Cirque du Soleil.

  • Sterling Partners and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB)

    Sterling Partners and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), on both Canadian and U.S. matters, in their acquisition of Livingston International Income Fund.

  • Canada Pension Plan Investment Board

    Canada Pension Plan Investment Board in its US$1.4 billion offer to acquire Auckland International Airport Limited and in the disposition of its common and non-voting shares of Clairvest Group Inc.

  • Ontario Pension Board’s (OPB)

    Ontario Pension Board’s (OPB) in its debenture offering valued at $500 million – one of the few successful implementations of such an offering by a public sector pension plan in Canada.

  • KingSett Capital and OPB

    KingSett Capital and OPB on the implications of their participation in a KingSett Capital-led consortium, which included RioCan REIT, to purchase Primaris Retail REIT and its leading portfolio of 26 major retail shopping centres and other properties.

  • Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, BCE Inc., Providence Equity Partners and Madison Dearborn Partners LLC

    An investor group comprising Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, BCE Inc., Providence Equity Partners and Madison Dearborn Partners LLC in its completion of the acquisition of Q9 Networks Inc. for a purchase price of $1.1 billion.

  • OPTrust

    OPTrust in its $200 million co-investment in Global Via Inversions SA and its $76 million co-investment in Porterbrook Leasing Company.

  • OPB

    OPB in its investment in the Billy Bishop Airport Project.

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