GIP adds UK government transport director to London team

The UK’s Department for Transport is “satisfied that no conflict of interest is present’, though the approval process remains ongoing.

Global Infrastructure Partners has hired Lucy Chadwick as an operating principal, thereby triggering her impending departure from her role as a senior civil servant in the UK government’s Department for Transport.

The New York-based fund manager said Chadwick would be responsible for matters across the business. In her role as director general of international, security and environment at the DfT, a post she has held since March 2012, Chadwick has worked on aviation policy and the department’s overarching strategy for the future of transport policy.

GIP still owns and manages a minority stake on behalf of its partners in London’s Gatwick Airport following the sale in December of a 50.01 percent stake to VINCI Airports for £2.9 billion ($3.8 billion; €3.4 billion). It has also owned Edinburgh Airport since 2012.

A spokesperson for the DfT said: “The government takes the issue of conflicts of interest extremely seriously and departments carefully consider each application on the basis of fact, with restrictions put in place where appropriate. The DfT is satisfied that no conflict of interest is present in this case, provided appropriate restrictions are in place. However, we await the outcome of the independent process for external moves at this grade, which is ongoing.”

Although specific details will be decided through the approval process, Infrastructure Investor understands Chadwick could be precluded from working at GIP on matters with which she was involved during her time at the DfT.

Her appointment marks a return to the private sector, which she left in 2002 following 13 years at consulting group Accenture. She spent two years leading the then prime minister Tony Blair’s delivery unit on transport, before moving to the DfT in 2004.

Last year, GIP added RBS’s erstwhile head of infrastructure, Andrew Paulson, to its London office as principal. He had, earlier in his career, spent seven years as a policy advisor to the UK Treasury.

GIP continues to fundraise for its fourth vehicle which, according to pension documents, has a target of $17.5 billion and a hard-cap of $20 billion. The fund is targeting a gross IRR of 15-20 percent.