KKR man takes helm of Lend Lease EMEA

Simon Hipperson, a former managing director in London at the New York buyout firm and one of the architects of its Global Infrastructure Partners platform, has been hired by Australia’s Lend Lease as chief executive officer for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Lend Lease, the Australian construction and development giant, has turned to former Kohlberg Kravis Roberts’ infrastructure expert, Simon Hipperson to fill the vacant spot of chief executive officer for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Hipperson, who was managing director in London at KKR between 2008 and 2011 and an architect of KKR Global Infrastructure Partners, is taking up the reins to replace Dan Labbard, the previous Lend Lease CEO in EMEA, who become group chief operating officer in July.

In a statement, Lend Lease played up its new hire’s experience in the infrastructure arena. Lend Lease group chief executive officer and managing director, Steve McCann, said Hipperson had a breadth of experience across target growth markets.

When he joined KKR in 2008, Hipperson already had 23 years of infrastructure experience. Prior to joining the private equity firm he was chief executive of Skanska Infrastructure Development, the Swedish constructor and developer where he led investments such as Autopista Central in Chile and the A1 in Poland, plus power infrastructure such as Ponte de Pedra Hydropower in Brazil, and social infrastructure projects including the Barts and London Hospitals redevelopment in London.

Before Skanska, he was managing director at Amey, a UK support service provider, and also spent six years as a managing director at Carillion Special Projects, a global infrastructure and building firm.

He left KKR in March 2011 with reports at the time saying his next destinations remained unknown. According to his LinkedIn profile, he has been working on direct investments and start-ups as well as advisory work in infrastructure and real estate.

Lend Lease is best known for its global development and construction activities, but it also has an investment management business with around A$11.8 billion of property assets in unlisted funds, joint ventures and separate mandates in Asia, Australia as well as Europe.

Significantly for Hipperson, in December 2010, Lend Lease’s UK business created an infrastructure partnership with PGGM, the Dutch pension asset manager, which provided £220 million (€278 million; $347 million) of equity to invest in UK assets such as schools, hospitals, government accommodation and waste management centres built and managed by Lend Lease.