A new investment of $13 billion into private equity globally over the next two years from AustraliaSuper, the nation’s biggest superannuation fund, is expected to bolster long-term returns for its members.
The super fund intends to inject $9.5 billion into the United States where it’s targeting a range of sectors including healthcare, technology, industrials, consumer and financials.
The new $13 billion investment is a core element of an ambitious financial strategy, under which the fund aims to invest in a diversified portfolio of private equity that it forecasts will boost its overall private equity investment to $26 billion over the next two years, further reaching $50 billion within five years.
Already spruiking a mammoth $260 billion in member assets, the new investment follows the recent expansion of its offices into New York. The fund currently invests $72 billion globally, with the expectation of growing to $100 billion by 2024.
AustralianSuper’s head of private equity, Terry Charalambous, said the fund will increase its allocation to private equity from 5 per cent today to 7 per cent by 2024 as part of its strategy to boost investment in unlisted assets.
“We have a compelling offer,” Mr Charalambous said. “Not only can we act quickly and deploy large amounts of capital, but we can also bring considerable value to the process by leveraging the deep sector expertise of a 70-person strong global listed equities capability that manages over $143 billion.”
“To help implement the fund’s strategy, our US-based private equity team will grow to 20 members in the next few years, focused on strengthening relationships with well-aligned investment partners and sourcing compelling long-term investment opportunities,” Mr Charalambous said.
He said that the fund has adopted a three-pronged investment approach, which includes investing in General Partner (GP) funds, investing alongside GPs in co-investment and co-underwriting opportunities.
“We have a strong focus on identifying best-in-class managers and working with them to build a relationship that will enable us to invest across all our strategies over the long term," Mr Charalambous said.
“We have strong relationships with our GP partners who we work with strategically in co-investment and co-underwrite opportunities.”
He hailed the fund’s large pool of long-term capital, as well as its processes that align with the “cadence of private equity transactions and can assess and act on opportunities very quickly”.
Following its start in co-underwriting in 2018, AustralianSuper has worked with preferred GPs to deploy $3 billion in co-underwrite transactions and co-investments over the past 18 months across 10 transactions globally.
Mr Charalambous said the fund is working with leading GPs to source opportunities, including management buyouts, growth equity financing and public to private transactions.
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