L and G builds in-house infra team

The UK insurer has hired a dedicated strategy chief nearly a year after merging its infra and real estate teams.

Legal and General Investment Management (LGIM), the asset management arm of UK insurer Legal & General, is engaged in an effort to boost its internal infrastructure capabilities as it seeks to deploy more money in the asset class.

The firm’s real assets unit has hired Declan O’Brien in the newly created role of infrastructure strategist in a bid to strengthen its “joined-up” approach to infrastructure and real estate and benefit from “cross-sector synergies,” it said in a statement.

O’Brien’s role will be fairly wide-ranging, involving both optimising the risk/reward profile of infrastructure portfolios and zooming in on specific sectors and geographies.

The move pursues the general aim of positioning infrastructure more clearly within LGIM’s broader investment portfolios. This appointment is but one of several the firm is looking to make in the near future, according to the statement.

LGIM did not respond to a request for further comment before press time.

O’Brien joins from Moody’s, where he was assistant vice president for project and infrastructure finance since 2009, based in London and Madrid. He previously worked within the project finance unit of Belgium’s KBC Bank, both in Dublin and Sydney.

His arrival at LGIM comes nearly a year after the company combined its infrastructure and property teams to form a single real assets division. The move saw Bill Hughes, who joined the company in 2007 as managing director of L&G property, take the helm of the new unit.