Barings sets sights on Aussie infra debt

The $275bn asset manager is looking to add two members to its global infrastructure debt team to start originating deals Down Under.

Barings, the firm born out of the merger of Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance’s four asset management businesses, is looking to hire two infrastructure debt professionals in its Sydney office. 

The fresh recruits, whose job will involve originating Australian deals, will join the global infrastructure debt team instead of becoming the first members of a new, separate Asian unit, a spokesperson of Barings told Infrastructure Investor.

Currently, Barings’ global infrastructure debt group is headed by Patrick Manseau, who operates from the firm’s Springfield, Massachusetts headquarters, while New York-based Orhan Sarayli is the lead originator for infrastructure project finance debt transactions.   

Barings’ global infrastructure debt portfolio had $6.8 billion in separate account under management as of 30 June, and over $3.6 billion of global infrastructure investments has been originated since 2014, according to its website. The portfolio spans Americas, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Australia and New Zealand, with a focus on core infrastructure assets like toll roads, ports, power, energy and PPP projects. 

As of last month, when it was officially established, Barings had a combined $275 billion in total assets under management. In Australia, the firm has offices in Sydney and Melbourne. Its other Asian outposts comprise offices in Hong Kong, Taipei and Kaohsiung, Seoul, Tokyo and Dubai. 

Barings is not the only global asset manager looking to grow its infrastructure debt footprint. Australia’s IFM Investors hired two directors this month to join its US debt team while Macquarie established a US infrastructure debt unit in September. 

Others have taken the view that competition is getting too fierce: US firm AllianceBernstein decided in August to fold its infrastructure debt team on the back of “significant changes in the market environment”.