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AMP ups US presence with new office, hires

The Australian investment firm will open a California outpost after bringing on three new institutional directors for the American market.

Looking to boost its US presence, Sydney-based AMP Capital has appointed three new institutional directors and plans to open a new West Coast office.

Mark Miness and Julia Szlakowski will each be based in AMP’s new Orange County office in California, set to open in February, while Craig Watkins will join the firm’s New York base.

“Building a specialist distribution team in North America is a key part of AMP Capital’s broader strategy and these appointments are a positive step towards delivering our global growth aspirations,” AMP Capital Director for the North West Region Boe Pahari said. “It’s a priority market for AMP Capital, and one where we see lots of opportunity for the expertise we bring across unlisted infrastructure, listed infrastructure and real estate asset classes.”

Szlakowski, who had been serving as vice-president for Champlain Advisors, will become institutional director for unlisted investments in the Americas. She will lead distribution efforts for AMP’s infrastructure debt and infrastructure equity strategies in North America.

Miness and Watkins both come from Cohen & Steers Capital Management, a Manhattan-based investment manager. Miness, appointed institutional director for the West Coast, will be responsible for covering institutional investment consultants and director prospects for the western half of the US. Watkins, institutional director for the East Coast, will serve in the same capacity as Miness but in the eastern half of the country.

AMP Capital, a specialist investment manager, holds more than A$160 billion ($120 billion; €113 billion) in funds under management. Its Orange County office, aimed at serving West Coast clients, will be its third in the US, joining outposts in New York and Chicago.