Saturday, June 15, 2024

AustralianSuper merges infrastructure and property teams

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AustralianSuper has appointed a new head of global real assets to lead the newly combined infrastructure and property teams, as it seeks to double its mid-risk portfolio by 2030.

Nik Kemp will oversee the fund’s global property and infrastructure portfolio and teams, which have merged together to form a new real assets team. 

Kemp has spent over a decade at AustralianSuper and was previously the head of infrastructure for the past six years. In his new role as head of global real assets, he will report to Jason Peasley, head of mid-risk. 

The decision to join the divisions is due to the increasingly close relationship of the two asset classes, AustralianSuper described, as well as the need to drive global economies of scale. 

The announcement came as the fund aims to double the size of its mid-risk portfolio, which includes assets such as unlisted infrastructure and unlisted property, to over $150 billion by 2030. 

The fund additionally announced several other leadership changes including appointing the head of European property, Paul Clark, to become the head of European real assets and Monica Ryu as head of asset management in the new real assets team. 

The current head of American infrastructure, Derek Chu, will also move into the role of acting head of American real assets as the property component of the real assets strategy in North America is pending finalisation. 

AustralianSuper said it will look to recruit a new head of Australian real assets. The fund has also created a new role, head of strategic opportunities, who will strategically lead the pursuit of compelling global investment opportunities and will work alongside the new real assets team.

With the fund forecasting to more than double its member assets from $300 billion to $700 billion over the next seven years, Peasley said it is reconsidering its investment approach to continue providing strong long-term returns.

“Aligned to our growing size, we need to find ways to simultaneously invest with a global portfolio mindset and empower our experienced teams in local markets to be agile in pursuit of the best global investment opportunities for members,” he commented. 

Peasley noted the blurring of investment opportunity classification across property and infrastructure, alongside the value of sector selection to drive performance. 

He continued: “We have ambitious investment performance objectives for both property and infrastructure and have been aligning our asset class strategies to invest in operating businesses and platforms which have the dedicated talent and opportunity to create more value across the real assets spectrum. 

“This aligns with our objective to source large-scale transactions as well as building real asset platforms, rather than developing individual assets.”

The newly formed real assets team, led by Kemp, will help the fund achieve its goal of doubling its mid-risk portfolio by 2030, Peasley added.

According to Kemp, combining the two teams will create a more research and sector-led investment approach.

“By bringing the expertise and knowledge of the two asset classes together, we can maximise the best of both to support global deal origination and continue to drive value creation in ownership for fund members,” he said. 
 

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