Hastings heavyweights resurface at Carlyle

Peter Taylor and Richard Hoskins have joined the US private equity firm just months after Australia’s Westpac pulled out of its sale of Hastings, citing “market conditions”.

Two of Hastings Funds Management’s most prominent executives have re-emerged at The Carlyle Group shortly after a failed attempt to sell the Australian fund manager.

Carlyle’s website now lists Peter Taylor, formerly Hastings’ head of global investments and global asset management, and Richard Hoskins, previously executive director for infrastructure, as managing directors at the US-based private equity firm.

Taylor is described as the co-head of Carlyle’s Global Infrastructure Opportunity Fund, based in Washington DC, while Hoskins is said to be looking after infrastructure opportunities globally from the firm’s Melbourne office.

Carlyle did not wish to comment on the specific remit of its new recruits. It also declined to provide further information on its Global Infrastructure Opportunity Fund.

Hoskins’ and Taylor’s LinkedIn profiles suggest they officially joined Carlyle in May and June respectively. Both stepped down from their hands-on roles at Hastings in January, according to LinkedIn, with Taylor still serving as senior advisor to Hastings between January and May.

This suggests both of them left their high-profile jobs while Westpac, the Australian lender that owns Hastings, was engaged in a process to sell the asset manager. Westpac halted the sale in March, prior to the second-round bid deadline, citing “current external market conditions”.

Westpac declined to comment then, but sources told Infrastructure Investor that TIAA-CREF and MassMutual Financial Group, two US asset managers reportedly leading in the race, had offered indicative bids far below the seller’s $500 million ($374 million; €340 million) target.

Sources added that the departure of Peter Taylor, at Hastings since 2000 and one of the firm’s key dealmakers, may have played a part in dampening bidders’ appetite, as did the prospect of other departures in the relatively near term.

Taylor had taken the lead on a number of high-profile deals at Hastings, including the A$10.3 billion acquisition of TransGrid. Other notable assets he helped secure include Port of Newcastle and Phoenix Natural Gas as well as stakes in Queensland Airports, Sydney's desalination plant, South East Water and Ballarat Water.

Taylor was also instrumental in setting up Hastings' North American unit.