Exclusive: NYCRS infra exec joins AMP Capital

Evan Nahnsen, who until recently served as senior investment officer at the $165.5bn pension system, has joined AMP’s infra debt team in New York.

Evan Nahnsen, formerly senior investment officer for infrastructure at the New York City Retirement System (NYCRS), has left the organisation and joined AMP Capital’s infrastructure debt team as vice president in New York. 

“I’m delighted to welcome Evan to AMP Capital’s infrastructure debt team,” AMP Capital infrastructure debt team principal Patrick Trears, to whom Nahnsen will be reporting, told Infrastructure Investor an e-mailed response. “We are continuing to grow our presence in the US market and Evan’s appointment will support the team’s origination efforts in the Americas.”

Nahnsen, the fourth new hire AMP Capital has announced this year, is the first in New York. He has more than 10 years’ experience structuring and arranging infrastructure financing, having worked at German-based lender West LB prior to joining NYCRS.

With the addition of Nahnsen, AMP Capital’s global infrastructure debt team now has 10 investment professionals located in London, New York and Sydney.

Nahnsen’s departure from the New York City pension system coincided with significant salary increases approved for a number of officials within the New York City Comptroller’s Bureau of Asset Management, which manages the funds’ cash and assists them in selecting investment advisers and consultants.

Eric Sumberg, deputy communications director and press secretary for NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer, told Infrastructure Investor that the pay raises were the result of a study conducted in June by McLagan, a financial services management consulting firm, on behalf of NYCRS.

The study, which compared NYCRS to other similar-sized pension funds, found that salaries at the New York City pension system were below those of its peers. As a result, several officials received double-digit raises in August. They include NYCRS’s chief investment officer Scott Evans, who saw his salary jump 56 percent and Petya Nikolova, head of infrastructure, who received a pay rise of 59 percent.

NYCRS’s infrastructure investment programme, launched in 2012, is relatively new. It has a global strategy and targets a variety of assets in sectors including energy (such as transmission, pipelines, thermal and renewable generation) and transportation (comprising airports, seaports and toll roads).

It is part of the system’s real assets portfolio, which also includes real estate. As of May 31, 2015, NYCRS’s real assets portfolio totalled $6.5 billion, of which $800 million was allocated to infrastructure.

Each of the five pension funds comprising the system – the New York City Employees’ Retirement System (NYCERS), the Teachers’ Retirement System of the City of New York (TRS), The New York City Police Pension Fund Subchapter 2 (POLICE), the New York City Fire Department Pension Fund Subchapter Two (FIRE) and the New York City Board of Education Retirement System (BERS) – is financially independent and has its own board of trustees.

The New York City Comptroller is the investment advisor and custodian of the five funds, which serve more than 700,000 retirees, beneficiaries and city and city-affiliated employees.