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Hastings bolsters Asia team

The Australian fund manager has hired a director to grow its business in the region as it seeks to build on its existing partnerships with local institutions.

Melbourne-based Hastings Funds Management has appointed Robert Campbell as business development director of its Asian operations.

Campbell started working at the firm’s headquarters on April 15. He joins after 12 years at McKinsey & Company, where he advised governments, investors and industry players on operations and strategy within the management consultancy’s infrastructure and transport Asian practices.

His experience includes 10 years in China as well as tenures in Hong Kong, Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Japan and Indonesia. He is soon to relocate permanently from Beijing to Singapore.

His new role will involve developing Hastings’ existing relationships in China as well as expanding the firm’s presence in the broader region.

“Robert has a strong track record of making an impact across the infrastructure life-cycle, in government strategy, finance and investment strategy, project planning and delivery, performance improvement in existing assets, and in risk management,” commented Grant Dooley, head of Hastings’ Asia unit, in a statement.

Campbell’s appointment comes at a time when Hastings is striving to grow its footprint in Asia by building partnerships with local institutions, a strategy it put on display a year ago when teaming up with state-backed China Merchants to buy the long-term lease of Port of Newcastle for A$1.75 billion (€1.27 billion; $1.36 billion).

The pair since formalised the tie-up in front of the President of China and Prime Minister of Australia last November, as part of the Free Trade Agreement signed then by the two nations.

Over the past few years, Hastings has crafted similar partnerships with South Korea’s Incheon International Airport Corporation and National Pension Service of Korea, India’s Birla Sunlife, and Japan’s Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank.

The latter saw the launch of two funds worth a combined €170 million – one targeting senior European debt and the other junior European debt – last December.