Canadian LPs Deny Dow Jones Story

Updated: The Canada Pension Plan and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan are both denying a Dow Jones report that they are part of a group designed to “press buyout firms to give them a greater say over how their money is managed.” The article listed four groups as part of the lobbying effort, including CPP, Ontario Teachers, AlpInvest (Netherlands) and GIC (Singapore). In all the quartet manages over $100 billion of private equity assets.

“It is categorically untrue,” says Deborah Allen, director of communications for Ontario Teachers. “We regularly talk to other LPs — that’s part of our job — but we have no exclusive conversations or organization like was described… I think the technical term would be ‘poppycock.'”

A CPP spokesman also denied that his system was either part of such a group, or had heard of one prior to the article’s publication. Dow Jones had not altered its story, as of last check.

I should say that I find the general concept of such a group completely plausible, so wonder if this is a case of sloppy reporting sullying a larger truth. I’m also open to the notion that I’m being bamboozled by CPP and Ontario Teachers, although it is very unusual for a professional PR person — let alone two — to provide inaccurate information on the record.

However, as I wrote this morning, it is odd that big U.S. systems like CalPERS and CalSTRS wouldn’t have been invited to participate. My take was that such groups might be wary of collusion accusations, but that wouldn’t have precluded them from at least getting an initial invite.

I have put in messages to both AlpInvest and GIC, and will update this post if/when I hear back from them.

Update: No official reply yet from AlpInvest, but a source familiar with the firm says that it is not part of the aforementioned lobbying group either.