Deloitte’s Riddell back Down Under

Deloitte has drafted Aussie national James Riddell back to Sydney after seven years in the firm’s UK office. Riddell will take a global leadership role for infrastructure M&A as well as heading the Australia/Asia practice.

Corporate finance partner James Riddell has relocated to Deloitte Australia’s Sydney office after seven years as head of European infrastructure M&A at Deloitte UK’s London office.

James Riddell

In his new role, Riddell will lead Deloitte Australia’s infrastructure M&A practice across Australia and Asia, while also taking on a global infrastructure M&A mandate on behalf of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu International’s global infrastructure and capital programs market offering.

“James joins the Australian firm at a very interesting time for infrastructure M&A activity both in Australia and Asia Pacific,” said Ian Thatcher, Deloitte Australia managing partner of financial advisory services, in a statement.

He added: “Those with access to capital continue to ponder the right long term ownership model for infrastructure assets, as they assess the relative attractiveness of forthcoming Government asset disposal programs in Australia and the likely expansion of infrastructure investment opportunities up into Asia.”

Prior to his time in the UK, Australian national Riddell had previously spent a total of 13 years at Deloitte Australia, including seven years as a partner. He was also an associate director at RBC Capital Markets from 1996 to 1998.

Riddell has typically advised financial investors assessing opportunities in sectors including airports, roads, rail, ports, car parks, water, gas and electricity. He has advised infrastructure funds, pension funds and insurance companies on investments in energy and transport infrastructure businesses throughout Europe.

At a roundtable staged by Infrastructure Investor in Sydney in June, participants spoke of an upsurge in privatisation-led deal flow not seen for the last ten years.

“After a decade of little primary transaction activity, expectations had been managed down. Now we’re back at the start of the cycle,” noted Danny Latham of Colonial First State Global Asset Management.

“The interest in privatisations in Australia will be significant over the next two or three years,” added Michael Hanna of Industry Funds Management. “Will that mean another pricing bubble? You will need to maintain discipline and buy well. The market could get quite hot.”