Dorset All Set to Forage Canada –

Dorset Partners held a first close early this month on $300 million for its private equity fund that will target Canadian companies looking for long-term growth equity.

The Ontario Municipal Employees’ Retirement System (OMERS) proved to play an important role in Dorset’s fund-raising process. The pension, one of Canada’s largest with approximately $36 billion in assets, committed $150 million to the fund, as well as $20 million to the firm’s venture capital fund, which also recently had a first closing on $75 million.

Dorset Partners is a Canadian investment bank with a mission to become a leading Canadian asset manager for institutional investors and capital provider for Canadian companies.

The OMERS investment reflects the pension’s strategic alliance with Dorset Partners on private investments – OMERS has agreed to make all its infrastructure investments through Dorset. With the alliance and through its investment, OMERS gained a 27% equity share of Dorset and is combining its interest in Borealis, an infrastructure investment platform, with Dorset to form a new, separate merchant bank that will pursue infrastructure investments complementary to those Dorset.

Other investors in Dorset’s private equity fund include Credit Suisse First Boston and TrizecHahn, as well as Dorset’s management.

With OMERS’ stake in Dorset, the pension is transferring some personnel over to help manage the fund, including Ian Collier, vice president of merchant banking and private placements for OMERS, and now co-head of Dorset’s two funds with Steven Hudson.