GLOBAL – The Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo), CAD70bn (€45bn) asset manager to the Canadian province's sovereign wealth and pension funds, has opened its first overseas office in London.

The office in the British capital follows on from its 2012 commitment in the redevelopment of BBC Television Centre, the listed and historic home of the UK's national broadcaster, into a mixed development with space for offices and 1,000 new houses, while retaining some of the television production facilities in place.

The central London office will be staffed by existing employees, AIMCo said in a statement, and would focus on the management of its private European assets.

AIMCo said: "The strategic decision to establish a European presence is a direct response to our growing portfolio of investments in the region.

"The office demonstrates AIMCo's commitment to enhancing our oversight of current holdings and offering a platform to screen for further opportunities."

Leo de Bever, the manager's chief executive, said: "Our decision to establish a modest presence in London is driven by the efficiencies it affords us in our quest to deliver the best risk-adjusted rate of return on behalf of our clients."

Executive vice-president for private investments Robert Mah added: "Europe is a strategic market for us, and we see great potential for future growth of our portfolios."

While the majority of AIMCo's CAD8bn real estate portfolio is invested Alberta and the country's most populous state, Ontario, as of the end of December 2012, it invested 6.2% in the UK and 2.4% in Europe.

The manager currently invests around 11%, or CAD8bn, in the UK and Continental Europe.