As the Liberal government takes steps to launch Canada’s new infrastructure bank, a location has been selected for its headquarters in the heart of Toronto’s financial district.
The bank is expected to set up shop in what had been the long time home of Sun Life Financial at 150 King Street West, according to two sources with knowledge of the matter.
“Choosing a location in the heart of Toronto’s financial district sends a clear message about the bank’s intentions,” said one source familiar with the bank’s thinking.
The bank plans to team up with large institutions to invest at least $35 billion in massive infrastructure projects over the next decade.
Last November, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hosted a group of leading pension funds with assets of more than $21 trillion at a Toronto event, as part of the broader plan to attract more foreign investment to Canada.
Since receiving approval from Parliament in June, the bank has named former Royal Bank CFO Janice Fukakusa as its first chairperson. Other priorities include naming its board of directors, which multiple sources say could be announced in the coming weeks. The bank has also been conducting a global search for its CEO.
“The goal remains for the Canada Infrastructure Bank to be operational by the end of the year,” Brook Simpson, press secretary to Infrastructure Minister Amarjeet Sohi, told BNN in an email. Simpson said he was not aware of the 150 King Street location as a headquarters for the bank.
Sun Life’s headquarters had been based at 150 King Street West for 30 years, before the company moved to a new location this year, closer to city’s waterfront.
“There’s an energy to this part of Toronto that we thought was kind of fitting for Sun Life,” Dean Connor, president and CEO of Sun Life Financial, told BNN in a recent television interview.
Sources say the infrastructure bank is taking on a modest amount of office space. BNN had previously reported the bank could ultimately employ 50-100 people, a staffing level that would resemble what is typically seen at an investment bank or merchant bank that focuses on financing and deal-making.
Toronto is already home to several leading pension funds with a history of investing in infrastructure, such as CPPIB, which has nearly $300 billion in assets. The OMERS pension fund has more than $85 billion in assets, while the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan oversees more than $170 billion in assets. Former Teachers’ CEO Jim Leech has been serving as special advisor to the infrastructure bank.