Exclusive: Three exit after Hastings pauses European fund

The Australian fund manager suspended fundraising for its €1.5bn core European vehicle, releasing the €250m raised back to investors.

Heiko Schupp, Cassandra Stevenson and Ingrid Weston have left Hastings Funds Management following a summer decision by the Australian manager to suspend fundraising for its €1.5 billion European Core Infrastructure Income Fund (CIIF).

The three executives were directly involved in the fundraising of CIIF. Colin Atkin, responsible for portfolio management and business development and a 20-year plus Hastings’ veteran, told Infrastructure Investor: “Their primary focus was CIIF. CIIF wasn’t proceeding and following that they left the firm with our best wishes.”

The decision to pause the CIIF fundraising, taken in the aftermath of the Brexit vote, saw Hastings release the capital it had raised back to investors. Sources familiar with the fundraising told Infrastructure Investor CIIF had managed to raise about €250 million.

Atkin could not confirm the amount raised, but said: “We had raised sufficient capital to hit a first close and start to invest. At the time when we decided to suspend the CIIF fund, there was significant uncertainty in the UK and Europe as a consequence of the Brexit vote. As a result, LPs in the fund were nervous about the future and so at that point in time we did not proceed [with the fund]. Hastings listened to what investors wanted, suspended the fund and released them from their commitments. It was a very investor-centric decision, from our perspective.”

Asked if the fund would be re-launched, Atkin added: “The fund had been successful, capital had been raised and all the investors remained committed to the sector. We are committed to the region and to the market and when it makes sense to re-launch the fund we will do it.”

Based in the London office, Schupp had joined Hastings in late 2012 and was serving as portfolio manager for CIIF, as well as being a member of Hastings’ equity investment committee. Prior to that, he was head of infrastructure, Europe, at Pantheon and had also been an investment director and investment committee member at EISER Infrastructure Fund.

Stevenson was an associate portfolio manager and ESG lead, focusing on CIIF since May 2014, when she relocated to London for that role. She had been with Hastings from 2010, serving as a senior infrastructure associate and asset director. Weston, for her part, had joined Hastings in October 2014 to lead its European business development efforts. She had a mandate to grow and manage Hastings’ institutional client base across equity and debt. Prior to that, Weston worked for StormHarbour Securities, raising capital for infrastructure direct investments.

Hastings has been investing in European infrastructure equity and debt out of its London office for the past decade, and Atkin was keen to stress that Hastings has “a fully staffed and fully functioning office. The firm maintains its capital raising and deployment activities. This doesn’t signal any lack of commitment to the region or London”.

Matthieu Favas contributed to this report.