Australia's IFM reports buoyant 2012(2)

Industry Funds Management has largely met or exceeded return benchmarks for 2012, with infrastructure and debt funds performing particularly well.

Melbourne-based Industry Funds Management (IFM) has declared 2012 a “standout year” in terms of investments, returns and growth, according to a recent firm statement.

Around 80 percent of the firm’s funds met or exceeded their return benchmarks for the 2012 calendar year, according to IFM’s chief executive Brett Himbury.

Of the four asset classes IFM focuses on, infrastructure and debt were particularly high performers, the statement said. Both the firm’s Australia and global infrastructure funds exceeded their 10 percent benchmark, and IFM’s debt products all returned between 9 and 11 percent.

The firm also reported a 24 percent increase in funds under management to A$39 billion (€30 billion; $40.4 billion) in December 2012 compared to A$31 billion a year prior. In addition, IFM added its first Asian LP in 2012.

“The interests of all our investors, and the retirement security of their members, are our key priority,” Himbury said in the statement.

Last month, IFM made its first investment in a British airport operator after helping its target company, Manchester Airports Group, win its bid for London Stansted Airport, Private Equity International reported earlier. The Stansted acquisition was valued at £1.5 billion (€1.8 billion; $2.4 billion).

Kyle Mangini, global head of infrastructure at IFM, told PEI earlier that the stable returns of infrastructure investments are beginning to have more appeal, but he believes it may be difficult for private equity firms to enter infrastructure due to the comparatively lengthy holding period.

With investments across infrastructure, private equity, debt and listed equities, IFM is wholly owned by 30 not-for-profit pension funds. The firm was created through the merger of IFS Private Capital Group and Development Australia Fund Management Limited, with IFM assuming full management, according to PEI’s data division.