CPPIB’s Austin Locke promoted to senior principal with a focus on tech

Locke, who assumed the new role in June, is operating from CPPIB’s office in San Francisco, which opened earlier in 2019.

Austin Locke, part of the direct private equity group at Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, was recently promoted to senior principal with a focus on tech investing, Buyouts has learned.

Locke assumed the new role in June, according to his LinkedIn profile. He is operating from CPPIB’s office in San Francisco, which opened earlier in 2019.

CPPIB confirmed the appointment with Buyouts. It declined additional comment.

Locke joined CPPIB in 2014 as a senior associate. He previously worked for nearly three years as an associate with Miller Buckfire, a New York-based investment bank, specializing in restructurings and distressed transactions. Before then, Locke was a PE investment professional with DLJ Merchant Banking Partners.

Locke has participated in several CPPIB investments in enterprise software and other tech businesses, his LinkedIn profile shows. They include Informatica, a Redwood City, California-based enterprise data integration software maker, acquired in 2015 alongside Permira for $5.3 billion.

CPPIB, Canada’s largest pension fund with C$410 billion ($310 billion) of net assets, in June opened the San Francisco office to help it source investment opportunities and deepen relationships in the world’s leading tech hub. In addition, the location is intended to facilitate the building out of CPPIB’s new venture capital strategy.

CPPIB has since been staffing the office. This includes transferring existing employees, such as Locke, from the direct PE, funds, thematic investing and portfolio value creation groups. In November, CPPIB also appointed Ryan Selwood, head of direct private equity, as San Francisco’s interim senior lead.

CPPIB’s PE platform, valued at C$99 billion as of September 30, is rooted in partnerships with large and mid-market buyout and growth equity managers in the Americas and Europe. Over the past five to six years, several tech PE firms have been added to the roster, among them Accel-KKR, Insight Partners, Riverwood Capital Partners, Siris Partners, Thoma Bravo and Vista Equity Partners.

Last month, Gil Nayot, who previously led tech investing for CPPIB’s direct PE group, joined Vertu Capital as a partner, Buyouts reported.

Action Item: Learn more about CPPIB’s direct private equity group here.