IFM launches new Direct Investment asset class, appoints new executive director

By IFM - 14 November 2012

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IFM is pleased to announce the launch of a new Direct Investment asset class with the appointment of Phillip Bower to lead our new investing initiatives.

We believe there is an untapped opportunity to directly invest in mature, Australian businesses with target returns of 12-15%. These assets exist across a wide-range of sectors including ‘infrastructure-adjacent’ areas such as waste-management, transport, and other essential business services. These opportunities can provide steady returns over a long period of time.

As Head of Direct Investments, Phillip will join our leadership team and report directly to IFM CEO, Brett Himbury. Phillip will work collaboratively with our investors to further define the market opportunities, return profiles, and target sectors.

Phillip is a seasoned private equity professional with deep experience from both a fund and investee perspective. Most recently, Phillip worked as Managing Director and CEO at Blue Star Group. Prior to this, he held the position of Managing Director at Unitas Capital where he was responsible for leading due diligence exercises, managing the investment of leading companies, overseeing lender funding arrangements, and determining exit opportunities.

Phillip has also worked as Managing Director and CEO at MCK Group, managing the company in a period of financial distress and transforming it into a high return growth business. And, he held senior marketing and BD roles at Goodman Fielder, Meadow Lea Foods and Corning Incorporated. Phillip will commence with IFM on 29 January and be based in Sydney.

The new asset class will be highly complementary to our existing infrastructure and private equity businesses and we will look to emulate success in these areas. We are very pleased with this opportunity to build on IFMs strong track record of investing in Australian businesses on behalf of well-capitalised long-term institutional investors.