ABP and OMERS announced the formation of INKEF Capital, a €200 million venture capital fund focused on “knowledge economy” startups in Canada and the Netherlands.
Today, pension funds ABP from The Netherlands and OMERS from Canada ring in the start of a unique joint initiative: the investment program INKEF Capital, which intends to invest in start-ups in the knowledge economies of both countries. A 15 year program, INKEF Capital is planning to deploy €200 million in Canada and the Netherlands over the first five years. INKEF stands for Investing in the Knowledge Economy of the Future and the program is meant as a double-edged sword. The pension money that INKEF Capital will invest in start-ups with innovative ideas and technologies will not only contribute to the returns for the pension holders of ABP and OMERS, but also to the development of the high-level knowledge economy. Furthermore INKEF Capital distinguishes itself from other investors by its long term investment horizon and active mentoring of the start-ups.
INKEF Capital’s long term investment strategy is especially suitable for pension funds: the strategy fits in with both the long term characteristics of the pension funds’ liabilities and with the connected long term investment horizon used by them. ABP (Stichting Pensioenfonds ABP) and OMERS (Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System) expect to achieve an attractive return, in line with the risk profile of these investments. Both partners regard collaboration between pension funds in programs for direct investment as a promising new strategic option, both in this asset class as in others.
INKEF Capital will invest in new companies and technologies from an early stage of their development onwards. INKEF Capital will invest through a Dutch and a Canadian investment company. ABP and OMERS will each provide half of the funding for the program. In the first five years, € 100 million is anticipated to be invested in start-ups in each of the territories, the Netherlands and Canada. The initial portfolio will naturally be weighted towards early stage companies which will mature over the fifteen year term. Deal flow will come from various sources, including technology transfer offices of universities, informal investors, regional funds and from spin-offs of new technologies by existing companies.
The investments by INKEF Capital are expected to add to the strength of the knowledge economy in Canada and the Netherlands by furthering entrepreneurship in predominantly the tech-sector. Furthermore the partners foresee that the investments will contribute to the creation of qualitatively high-level employment, both directly and indirectly.
ABP is the pension fund for employers and employees in service of the Dutch government and the educational sector. All of our 2.6 million customers have the assurance of income security against the following events: disability, death and pension, all based on solidarity and non-profit. Our office is in Heerlen, the Netherlands. www.abp.nl
OMERS is a fully integrated global financial services organization and one of Canada’s largest pension funds. A jointly-sponsored, multi-employer defined benefit pension plan that provides retirement benefits to more than 400,000 members, OMERS has more than $47 billion in net investment assets. The OMERS Worldwide brand represents our investment entities, including OMERS Strategic Investments, OMERS Private Equity, OMERS Capital Markets, OMERS Investment Management Inc., Borealis Infrastructure, and Oxford Properties Group. OMERS was recently named 2010 Pension Fund of the Year, Canada by World Finance magazine. To find out more about OMERS, please visit www.omers.com