GLOBAL - Teachers' Private Capital, the private equity arm of the giant Canadian pension fund, is looking recruit a total of eight local investment professionals for its newly-launched London office.

This UK branch is the CDN$106bn (€70.4bn) fund's first foothold outside of Canada and is currently staffed by Canadian expatriates, Andrew Claerhout, director of the new London branch, told IPE today.

However, "the rest of the recruits that we bring in will be local Europeans with language skills and contacts here", he said.

Claerhout added: "We are in the market today looking for four investment professionals this year and probably another two to four next year."

The fund has more than CDN$4bn invested in European private equity and infrastructure, and has been investing directly in Europe companies and funds for a number of years.

"Our London office enables us to scout direct private equity investments as well as partnership commitment opportunities," said Jim leech, senior vice-president of Teachers' Private Capital, in a statement.

Claerhout, previously a portfolio manager for the Canadian fund, added: "We access the market here in a number of ways, the most passive of which is giving money to third party managers who invest that money on our behalf."

He said his branch is also looking for opportunities to partner with other financial institutions.

"We view private equity funds as financial institutions, but if there is a bank or an insurance company or someone else that is a source of capital and has access to a deal which we regard as attractive we would partner with them as well," he explained.

That said, European institutional investors cannot invest in the fund as the way the fund has is formed prevents it from managing third-party money.