Industry Funds hires three for US infrastructure team

Part of a larger expansion strategy into infrastructure, Dunia Wright, head of US and Europe for IFM, predicts that the Melbourne-based asset manager will have about 40 infrastructure professionals globally by the end of the year.

Australian asset manager Industry Funds Management has hired Alec Montgomery and Michael Thompson as executive directors for its US infrastructure team in New York. It has also appointed Mauricio Melzi as senior investment director for the team.

Montgomery, Thompson and Melzi will work alongside Lars Bespolka and Jeffrey Mouland, investment directors who joined IFM's New York office earlier this year.

The expansion is part of IFM's strategy to increase its presence in the US following the opening of its New York office. Dunia Wright, head of US and Europe for IFM, moved from Melbourne to the US to launch the office in January.

Since then, the office has grown from one to ten investment provessionals, Wright said. She also said that the firm has plans to continue to scale up its infrastructure team, which currently numbers 35 professionals across all of IFM's offices.

“By the end of the year, we'll have about 39 [infrastructure professionals]. Next, year, we predict that we will put on about 8-10 infrastructure professionals across all our offices and then continue steady growth over the next three to five years,” Wright said.

She added that now is a great time to be recruiting infrastructure professionals like Montgomery and Melzi.

Montgomery joins IFM from Royal Bank of Scotland, where he was managing director and head of infrastructure finance. Melzi joins from Merrill Lynch where he was a director of its corporate finance energy commodities group in New York.

Thompson was previously IFM’s executive director for infrastructure in Melbourne. He will hold the same position in the US.

Since IFM began investing its International Infrastructure Fund in 2004, the firm has made seven acqusitions globally valued at more than $3 billion, $1.5 billion to $2 billion of which has come from equity. Four of the acqusitions were Europe and three in the US.

In the US, IFM purchased interests in Colonial Pipeline Company in Georgia, Duquense Power in Pennsylvania and a portfolio of power plants owned by US electricity generator Con Edison.

IFM manages private investment products across infrastructure, private equity, debt investments and listed equity portfolios. It has invested in infrastructure assets since 1995 and has completed 47 transactions to date, with approximately $5.9 billion invested in the infrastructure sector. The firm manages more than $14 billion across all its investment funds globally.

IFM is a subsidiary of Industry Super Holdings, which is owned by 37 Australian superannuation funds. 

Cezary Podkul contributed reporting to this article.