ARA taps second Hastings exec to head infra business

Grant Dooley will lead the real estate investment manager’s newly established infrastructure arm as CEO and plans to launch a debut fund by Q3 this year.

ARA Asset Management has tapped Grant Dooley, former executive director and head of Asia at Australia’s Hastings Funds Management, to head its newly established infrastructure business, which marks its first foray outside the real estate investment sector.

Dooley is the second Hastings executive to join ARA Infrastructure. Last month, the Singapore-based investment manager named Kanishk Bhatia as head of infrastructure investment for Asia. Both will be based in Singapore.

Dooley will drive ARA’s infrastructure initiative globally, a spokeswoman for the firm told Infrastructure Investor. Bhatia will report to Dooley, who will report to ARA’s assistant group chief executive and chief executive of ARA private funds, Ng Beng Tiong, she explained.

“ARA’s move into the infrastructure business is our latest step in evolving from a global integrated real estate fund manager into a global integrated real assets fund management business,” ARA’s group chief executive John Lim said in a statement. “We are seeing a strong demand from investors in infrastructure, particularly as the Belt and Road initiative gains momentum and governments in the rapidly developing economies in Asia and Europe open up to private investment,” he added, referring to the two markets ARA will target for infrastructure investment opportunities.

In addition to building out the infrastructure team, Dooley and the firm are also working towards launching a maiden fund by the third quarter of this year, he said in the statement.

According to his LinkedIn profile, Dooley formulated and implemented a market entry strategy resulting in the successful raising of roughly $1.2 billion in capital commitments from Asian institutional investors during the nearly six years he was at Hastings.

Before joining Hastings, which has now been rebranded Vantage Infrastructure following the acquisition of its non-Australian business by Northill Capital, Dooley held a number of roles at the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade between 2004 and 2012.