AustralianSuper has announced the creation of a new real assets team, bringing together its existing global property and infrastructure portfolios under one banner.
The super fund explained that it made the move in recognition of the increasingly close relationship of infrastructure and property, alongside the need to drive global economies of scale and an aim to capitalise on complementary expertise across the real assets value chain.
Nik Kemp, who joined AustralianSuper in 2013 and has served as head of infrastructure for the past six years, will oversee the newly merged infrastructure and property teams in the role of head of global real assets under the leadership of head of mid risk Jason Peasley.
“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,” Mr Kemp said.
“By combining the teams, we can take a more research and sector-led approach to investing, aligned to our broader one portfolio approach.”
Mr Peasley said that Australia’s largest super fund needed to reconsider its approach to ensure it can deliver strong long-term returns to members both now and in the decades to come.
The fund currently expects that its funds under management will more than double by the end of the decade, jumping from $300 billion currently to over $700 billion by 2030.
“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,” Mr Peasley said.
“Over recent years, we have seen the importance of sector selection in driving performance across both property and infrastructure as well as a blurring of investment opportunity classification across the two asset classes, which we expect to only increase in the future.”
According to Mr Peasley, AustralianSuper has “ambitious” investment performance objectives for both the property and infrastructure asset classes.
“The creation of the real assets team, under the guidance of head of global real assets, Nik Kemp, will support our drive to double our mid risk portfolio by 2030 and help deliver on our purpose of helping members to achieve their best financial position in retirement,” he added.
AustralianSuper indicated that it is aiming to double the size of its mid risk portfolio to exceed more than $150 billion in the next seven years.
In light of the merger of infrastructure and property, the fund said that its current head of European property, Paul Clark, will now become head of European real assets, while head of American infrastructure, Derek Chu, will become acting head of American real assets.
Additionally, senior investment director (infrastructure) Monica Ryu has been named as head of asset management in the new real assets team and will focus on driving value creation in ownership, according to AustralianSuper.
The fund confirmed that it is aiming to recruit a new head of Australian real assets. It is also seeking to fill a new role of head of strategic opportunities, which will provide strategic leadership and work alongside AustralianSuper’s real assets investment strategies.
Jon Bragg is a journalist for Momentum Media's Investor Daily, nestegg and ifa. He enjoys writing about a wide variety of financial topics and issues and exploring the many implications they have on all aspects of life.