Columbia Threadneedle targets infra with new team

The global asset manager makes four appointments including former Hastings executive Heiko Schupp, who will lead the firm’s new infrastructure strategy.

Columbia Threadneedle Investments, a London-based global asset manager, is expanding into infrastructure to match institutional investors’ “longevity and total return requirements” as well as to complement its real assets and alternatives strategies.

To that end, it has hired Heiko Schupp as global head of infrastructure investments, a new role. Schupp, who most recently was senior portfolio manager at Hastings Funds Management (now Vantage Infrastructure), has more than 20 years’ experience in the infrastructure sector, having held various senior positions at Pantheon Ventures, ABN AMRO’s EISER Infrastructure Fund, Bank of Scotland and PwC.

Based in London, Schupp will oversee the new three-member team of infrastructure investment professionals. He will report to Mark Burgess, chief investment officer, EMEA and deputy global chief investment officer at Columbia Threadneedle, a spokeswoman told Infrastructure Investor.

Ash Kelso, who was previously director for energy, utilities and infrastructure at PwC, has been named head of asset management, while Antonio Botija, another Hastings executive, will serve as head of acquisitions. Ingrid Weston, previously with HSBC Global Asset Management, rounds off the team as senior portfolio manager. All three will be based in London and report to Schupp, according to the spokeswoman.

“Heiko brings extensive infrastructure experience to our firm and together with his team is very well placed to establish an attractive investment solution for our clients in the UK and Europe,” Michelle Scrimgeour, Columbia Threadneedle’s chief executive, EMEA, said in a statement.

Asked what the new infrastructure team’s priorities are in the near term, the spokeswoman declined to comment.

The firm, which is the asset management arm of US-based financial services provider Ameriprise Financial, had €395 billion of assets under management as at 31 March 2018. In addition to alternatives, it also invests in equities and fixed income in both developing and developed markets.