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Australian pension MLC to expand overseas PE team

The A$70bn pension fund is looking to hire two investment professionals as it looks to bolster its on the ground presence in markets outside Australia.

Sydney-based pension fund MLC is aiming to appoint two non-Australia-based private equity investment executives to aid its efforts in putting more capital to work overseas.

The pension is bolstering its ranks as it looks to invest a cash pile that’s at the highest level since the financial crisis in some of its portfolios, MLC chief investment officer Jonathan Armitage said in a Bloomberg report.

However, David Chan, head of Asia, private equity at MLC told Private Equity International, the pension fund wants more people on the ground in the countries where it already has the most exposure. Nearly half of the pension’s A$70 billion ($54 billion; €49 billion) portfolio is allocated to the US, 30 percent is in Europe, and the remaining 30 percent in Australia and other markets.

Chan added that MLC is not looking to outweigh any particular geography going forward and will continue to target a geographically balanced portfolio.

MLC, the private wealth arm of the National Australia Bank, was established to provide superannuation, investment and insurance solutions to individual investors and corporate customers. MLC, which allocates 4 percent of its overall portfolio to private equity, has been investing in the asset class in 1997 from its Sydney and New York offices.

MLC has committed capital to global firms including Charterhouse Capital Partners, Apax Partners and Adveq, as well as Australian private equity firms Archer Capital and Quadrant Capital, according to PEI data.