RE one of OMERS' top-performing asset classes

The asset class's performance declined from in 2016 from the previous year, when it posted a 15.3 percent return.

Real estate was the second-best performing asset class in 2016 for the Ontario Municipal Employees' Retirement System, PERE's sister publication, PEI, reported.

It returned 12.4 percent for the year ending December 31, down from 15.3 percent in 2015, according to a Friday statement from OMERS.

Private equity posted the top returns with a 12.6 percent net return, up from 10 percent in the previous year, while infrastructure returned 11 percent in 2016, down from 17.3 percent in 2015.

The overall return for the pension plan was 10.3 percent after all expenses, up from 6.7 percent in 2015, the statement said.

“Our strong investment returns in 2016 reflect the value of our well-diversified portfolio of high-quality assets, which we are continuing building,” said Michael Latimer, OMERS president and chief executive.

As of December 31, OMERS, which has C$85.2 billion ($64.86 billion; €61.33 billion) in total assets, had 13.6 percent of its assets in private equity, down from 14.7 percent. Real estate was the largest private investment asset class in 2015 at 16.9 percent, but it dropped to 14.6 percent in 2016. Meanwhile infrastructure became the largest private investment asset class in 2016 for OMERS, representing 17 percent of assets, up 16.4 percent in 2015.

Overall, OMERS' total net assets increased by C$8.1 billion during the year.