John Brakey quits Macquarie

The head of Macquarie Fund Management's private equity fund of funds business has quit the firm after eight years, and is to lead KKR's IR activities in Australia.

John Brakey, the head of the Australian infrastructure specialist’s private equity fund of fund business, has quit the firm. He has been replaced by Michael Lukin, who was until now the second in charge to Brakey, a Macquarie spokeswoman said.

Lukin has been responsible for all Australian private equity fundraising, fund investments and co-investments, the firm said.

Brakey is headed to Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, where he will join the firm’s Australian team in the beginning of February 2009. In his new role, he will head KKR’s fundraising, product development and investor relations effort in Australia, according to a report in Australia’s Investment & Technology magazine. The report noted that Brakey will likely work closely with Principle Advisory Services, KKR’s placement agent in Australia.

KKR confirmed his appointment but declined to comment further.

Brakey and Lukin both joined Macquarie in 2000, having previously worked together at Towers Perrin, where they conducted research on specialist private equity fund managers.

The Macquarie Funds Management's private equity division now comprises of 24 people based in Australia, the US, Hong Kong and the UK. It manages more than $5 billion in private equity assets globally as of 31 October 2008. Besides allowing investors to commit money to the asset class through its funds of funds, it also offers discretionary advisory services to clients.

The funds group currently manages funds of funds focused on Asia Pacific and Australia. The funds management group also has plans to launch an infrastructure fund of funds, for which it hopes to garner initial commitments of A$1 billion ($659 million).

Macquarie Group has struggled recently with falling asset values and a drop in the share prices of its listed funds, resulting in the sale of some of its assets. The group is also restructuring some of its businesses by either merging them with other divisions, or divesting its stakes in them.