With highly educated immigrants set to grow Canada’s population, one of the world’s largest asset management firms is looking to invest heavily in the country.
Blackstone, the world’s largest alternative asset management company which oversees US$1 trillion in assets, is opening up an office in Canada as it commits to growing its presence and investments in the country.
Jonathan Gray, president and chief operating officer of Blackstone, told BNN Bloomberg that his company has “a lot of enthusiasm” about Canada’s economy – and he sees the country’s growing population as its largest asset for future growth and productivity.
“We think the resource that (Canada) is most rich in is human talent,” Gray said in a television interview on Wednesday.
“The fact that the population in Canada is growing at 2.7 per cent, five times the rate of the U.S., it’s very bullish. Many of those folks are quite educated as well.”
Blackstone is looking to grow its investments in Canada within several industries that include housing, logistics, infrastructure and clean energy.
“You’ll see us on the real estate front do more in the student housing, which is an area Canada is really strong in, because so many people want to get a Canadian education,” he noted.
Data centres will be another area Blackstone intends to focus to facilitate the advancement of artificial intelligence, Gray added.
“When you think about what’s coming in AI, data centres are really the manifestation of that,” he added.
As Blackstone eyes more student housing, Gray spoke about the Canadian housing market’s strength at large.
Despite extraordinary high prices, he expects that overwhelming demand for housing in Canada combined with limited housing supply will continue to support the sector – particularly in areas where concentrated numbers of immigrants are expected to land.
“I think housing long-term has got some support because of this supply-demand imbalance,” Gray said.
Watch the full interview with Gray on BNN Bloomberg, Wednesday afternoon at 1:10 p.m. EDT.