IFM appoints new leadership in European Infrastructure Debt

By Industry Funds Management - 19 September 2012

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Industry Funds Management (IFM) has appointed David Cooper as Investment Director, Debt Investments, to lead the expansion of IFM’s infrastructure debt capability into the UK and Europe. Mr Cooper will be based in London and report to Global Head of Debt Investments, Robin Miller.

Mr Cooper brings deep knowledge of infrastructure financing and a proven track record of originating and executing infrastructure debt investments in the UK and European markets. He will work closely with IFM’s Australian team of infrastructure debt specialists under Kevin Lewis, and will be supported by an additional specialist in London, to be announced over the coming months.

Mr Cooper will also be working with IFM’s well established European infrastructure equity team of twelve investment professionals (plus specialised support) based in London and led by Christian Seymour.

Mr Cooper joins IFM from Barclays, where he was Head of the Infrastructure & Structured Project Finance Team in London. Prior to this he worked at RBS and HBOS.

Commenting on the appointment Robin Miller, noted:

“This is a key appointment for IFM in a growing and increasingly complex market environment. David has the experience and expertise to leverage IFM’s strong track record in infrastructure debt to deliver tailored mandates for leading pension and other institutional funds.”

“High quality credit such as infrastructure debt offers safe, positive real returns, income flow and a degree of inflation protection as well as diversification in a confusing and increasingly uncertain investment environment” Mr Miller said. “We believe that this is only our first step and we will be ready to expand the team to meet demand, while at all times maintaining our strong culture which derives from our unique ownership structure and alignment with investors.”

IFM has a 13 year track record of investing in infrastructure debt for long-term institutional investors with A$1.5 billion in funds under management in this sector (out of A$3.7 billion of credit risk assets and out of over A$11 billion total in cash and debt investments). IFM’s infrastructure debt capability complements its capability in infrastructure equity, for which it currently manages over A$11 billion globally. IFM believes that Infrastructure equity and debt are both defensive, alternative asset classes. Although they have many similarities, they also have distinct risk-return profiles, requiring separate investment teams, but with each asset class having a place in a well diversified portfolio.