AMP Capital’s independent board committee has rejected all three suitors lined up to take over management of its Community Infrastructure Fund (CommIF), saying its remaining senior staff have the experience to continue managing the fund despite a number of exits.
A letter from the chairman of the committee seen by InvestorDaily reveals that it has “unanimously” reached the conclusion that the recent departure of senior staff, including AMP Capital’s head of social care Julie-Anne Mizzi, director of infrastructure equity Jiren Zhou and CommIF head of asset management Simon Hunter, would not have a substantial impact on the running of the fund.
“The proposals put forward by Plenary Group, HRL Morrison and Co, and Palisade did not exhibit sufficiently compelling or certain benefits to CommIF members to outweigh the uncertainty and risks that would arise from changing the management of CommIF,” the letter states.
“Accordingly, the IBC does not consider that undertaking a process to change the management of CommIF is in the best interests of CommIF members. In concluding its review, the IBC has resolved to cease discussions with the various parties so as to enable management to focus on growth initiatives and implementation of the CommIF strategic plan.”
IBC chairman Ming Long said the committee – which consists of Ms Long and independent directors Peter Rowe and Bob McKinnon – had been advised in its decision by external firms, including E&P Corporate Advisory and Herbert Smith Freehills.
“The key consideration for the IBC has been to test and assess the ongoing services and resourcing provided by AMP Capital, as the existing investment manager, and determine whether the proposals from Plenary Group, HRL Morrison and Co, and Palisade offer sufficiently compelling and certain benefits to members to justify the uncertainty and risks of a transition,” Ms Long said.
“The IBC considers that this threshold is reasonable and appropriate given the strong historical performance of CommIF, its leading position in the market, and the potential disruption to CommIF’s ongoing investment activities associated with any change.”
Ms Long said investors would be able to query the decision at a forum on 26 July.
The news comes following bids from the three asset managers in March to take over CommIF, as a number of AMP Capital funds change hands in the lead-up to the demerger of the fund manager’s private markets business from AMP.
AMP Capital ceded control of its Diversified Property Fund in April as investors voted in favour of consolidation with a rival Dexus fund, and has more recently offloaded its global equities and fixed income business to Macquarie Asset Management.
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