Trent Vichie, a division director for Macquarie Securities, has been tapped to lead The Blackstone Group’s new infrastructure fund management business, according to multiple industry sources.
Blackstone declined to comment. It is unclear if Vichie has begun work yet at the New York alternative investment giant.
Blackstone revealed in an investor call earlier this month that it intended to launch an infrastructure investment business, along with a new cleantech business to be led by James Kiggen, who comes from asset manager AllianceBernstein. On the call Blackstone executives did not identify who would head the infrastructure group.
Vichie, an Australian national who graduated from Macquarie University in 1996, in 1999 joined Macquarie, a pioneer in public-private partnerships within the infrastructure space.
Blackstone said during its earnings call that its infrastructure business would target deals in North America and Europe.
A source close to Macquarie confirmed that Vichie had left for Blackstone.
A number of major private equity firms have recently added infrastructure to the line-up of targeted strategies. Kohlberg Kravis Roberts recently brought on board former Lazard banker George Bilicic to lead a new infrastructure division, which will target roughly $5 billion for a debut fund.
The Carlyle Group and 3i are two other firms to have launched infrastructure initiatives recently.
Investor demand for exposure to relatively inflation-proof infrastructure assets has led to a fundraising boom within the infrastructure market, with much of the activity centered on funds that bear many similarities to private equity limited partnerships.