Bloomberg News

Industry Funds Hiring Bankers for European Infrastructure

July 29, 2012

Industry Funds Management Pty Ltd., which oversees A$35 billion ($37 billion) of assets, plans to boost investment in European infrastructure shed by governments and companies struck by the region’s economic crisis.

IFM, whose clients include Australian pension funds, is adding to a team of 16 staff in London by hiring investment bankers focused on infrastructure debt, said Robin Miller, head of debt investments, in an interview. The Melbourne-based fund manager is hiring a senior investment director to run the team, Miller said.

“We think there will be more opportunities to invest in both infrastructure debt and equity assets in the U.K. and Europe because of the pressure that both governments and the banking system are under,” Miller said. “We expect to hire some people out of the banking industry.”

Investment banks in Europe are preparing for a second wave of job cuts in less than a year after Europe’s debt crisis slashed fee income from deals. Investors including Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan are pursuing infrastructure assets in Europe to diversify beyond stocks and bonds.

British Columbia Investment Management Corp., manager of about $86 billion in pension assets, was among a consortium of investors which in May bought EON AG (EOAN)’s natural-gas pipelines in Germany for 3.2 billion euros ($3.9 billion).

Industry Funds Management owns stakes in assets including airports in Melbourne, Perth and Darwin; the port of Brisbane; toll roads in New South Wales state and power generation in Victoria, according to a company presentation. It lost out on bidding for the lease to operate Sydney’s desalination plant to Ontario Teachers’ and Hastings Funds Management Pty for A$2.3 billion, people familiar with the matter said in May.

Firms including Credit Suisse Group AG (CSGN) and UBS AG have shed staff in Europe as banks face pressure to boost efficiency ahead of tougher capital and liquidity rules designed to curtail risk- taking.

To contact the reporter on this story: Brett Foley in Melbourne at bfoley8@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mohammed Hadi at mhadi1@bloomberg.net


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