IFM to spawn UK debt operation

Industry Funds Management has decided to build out a UK infrastructure debt team. The company has had an office in London since 2006, headed by Christian Seymour (pictured)

Industry Funds Management (IFM), a Melbourne, Australia-based infrastructure fund manager with A$11 billion (€9 billion; $11 billion) invested in infrastructure, is planning to establish a UK infrastructure debt investment team, market sources told Infrastructure Investor.

IFM, which has a A$35 billion asset management business and is owned by 32 Australian superannuation funds, has a 15-person London office since 2006, headed by Christian Seymour, its head of infrastructure for Europe.

The fund manager is expecting to have the new debt team installed by year end. 

In Australia, IFM has a longstanding infrastructure debt strategy in place. In 2010, its infrastructure debt unit closed a major, A$550 million bond financing for the Dampier to Bunbury Natural Gas Pipeline. In addition, in 2011, the team set up a senior secured debt facility for the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre, a A$1 billion project to build a cancer research centre.

Last November, the UK government announced a plan to encourage large-scale pension fund investment in infrastructure countrywide. The plan, known as the Pensions Infrastructure Platform, is partly modelling itself on IFM.