Exclusive: QIC seals first close on debut fund

The Australian asset manager has raised more than A$1bn from a pool of institutional investors for both fund and co-investments.

Brisbane-headquartered QIC has reached a first close on its Global Infrastructure Fund (QGIF), Infrastructure Investor has learnt.

The milestone brings the vehicle, which the firm started marketing in the northern hemisphere earlier this year, to 50 percent of its A$1.75 billion (€1.16 billion; $1.27 billion) target. The firm is aiming to reach subsequent closes within the next 12 to 18 months, said Vittorio Lacagnina, a director at QIC.

The firm has now raised more than A$1 billion of new capital for its global infrastructure platform – with money earmarked both for the vehicle and for co-investments – since launching QGIF in the southern half of the globe late last year.

Limited partners in the vehicle include HOSTPLUS, an A$15.3 billion superannuation fund, as well as an Asian sovereign wealth fund, one of China’s largest insurers and two of QIC’s foundation clients, according to the firm.

Infrastructure Investor revealed last year that QIC was in discussions about a possible fund product with a target understood to be about $1.5 billion. In February, by way of what it described as a “progress update”, the firm announced having raised $528 million from four institutional investors for the vehicle.

The first close triggers the start of QGIF’s investment period. The fund will now look to deploy its capital in sectors including transportation, energy, utilities and social public-private partnerships (PPPs), with a sliver allocated to greenfield investments, in OECD economies.

It will have a particular focus on the Australian market, where QIC anticipates the states’ asset recycling process will generate sustained deal flow, Lacagnina explained. The firm sees Australia as a gateway to emerging Asia, whose booming middle class, it says, is bound to generate significant demand for infrastructure over the next two decades.

QIC, an A$90 billion asset manager, has been busy bolstering its global infrastructure team since the start of the year. Its latest senior recruit is Giles Tucker, who last March joined the firm to lead its European infrastructure operations.

In May, QIC also announced an A$1 billion infrastructure partnership with the California Public Employees' Retirement System, in what was the US pension’s first Asia-Pacific infrastructure commitment. The terms of the tie-up will see QIC source, create and manage a portfolio of Asia-Pacific assets, with a focus on core transport, energy and PPP infrastructure, on behalf of the partnership.