KPMG’s infra team moves to StepStone

The US firm has bolstered its infrastructure and real assets unit by hiring the team that established KPMG’s institutional investment advisory business in 2011.

StepStone Group has increased its real assets team to more than 20 staff globally with the addition of 15 infrastructure specialists from KPMG, the international advisory group.

James O’Leary, head of the KPMG team, will become head of StepStone infrastructure and real assets' unit. He will be based in Sydney, a spokesperson for the US asset management and advisory firm told Infrastructure Investor. Before joining KPMG, O’Leary served as head of Colonial First State Global Asset Management’s real assets platform.

The contingent joining StepStone has been advising investment institutions globally for more than 10 years. It is the same team that launched KPMG’s institutional advisory business in 2011.

While StepStone did not name the other 14 professionals joining from KPMG, it said through a spokesperson that team members will be working out of Sydney, London and Toronto. The Toronto office will open once the infrastructure team joins StepStone, the spokesperson explained.

“Building an exceptional infrastructure and real assets investment platform is a top priority for StepStone,” the firm’s chief executive Monte Brem said. “The combination of James O’Leary’s team and the existing StepStone team greatly enhances our ability to provide the full scope of solutions that institutions are demanding to build their infrastructure and real assets investment portfolios.”

In addition to expanding its infrastructure and real assets group – which includes agriculture, mining and timber – StepStone also announced the launch of a private debt arm and hedge fund division with the acquisition of Swiss Capital Alternative Investments.

The New York-based firm, which employs more than 170 professionals across 11 offices worldwide, has about $14 billion in assets under management.