Ex-Bovis exec joins upstart 'greenfield' fund

Long-time Bovis Lend Lease professional Mark Melson (pictured) has joined Star America Infrastructure Partners. The recently created fund manager is aiming to raise $400m to invest in 'greenfield' public-private partnerships, with a focus on North America.

Start-up infrastructure fund manager Star America Infrastructure Partners has hired Mark Melson to be its new chief operating officer (COO), the Roslyn, New York, company told Infrastructure Investor.

Newly named COO Melson began working for international construction and project management outfit Bovis Lend Lease in 1985, becoming an operating partner and executive vice president in 2004.

Star America president Christophe Petit – formerly of investment bank Greenhill & Company – had been acting as COO, explained Lisa Buglione, vice president in charge of marketing and business development. She said Star America, formed in April 2011, needed a fulltime COO because the new fund manager is continuing to flesh out its business.

Star America is raising a debut, $400 million infrastructure fund focused on ‘greenfield’ public-private partnerships, with an emphasis on North America. Buglione and Petit declined to comment on fundraising.

The new outfit was created by William Marino, the founder of Allied North America, a niche-market broker-dealer specialising in construction bonds and insurance. Salvatore Mancini – former president and chief executive officer of Skanska USA Civil from 2000 until his retirement in 2008 – is Star America's chairman. 

Petit explained that new hire Melson, with his background in social infrastructure, is a strong complement to the civil infrastructure experience of Mancini. Star America also boasts former EQT Infrastructure member Jahred Kallop as part of the team.