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L&G hires head of infra debt amid team consolidation

The UK insurer’s investment arm has brought together infrastructure debt and corporate private credit under a single unit.

Legal & General Investment Management has appointed Tom Sumpster as head of infrastructure debt in a move to consolidate different strands of its private credit business under a single umbrella.

Sumpster joins from Royal Bank of Canada, where he had a 10-year tenure and was head of acquisition finance. His broader pedigree includes more than 16 years advising, arranging and underwriting infrastructure transactions.

He is one of three major hires announced this week by LGIM Real Assets, with Calum Macphail and Ed Wood also joining as head of corporate credit and head of US private placements. The move forms part of the firm’s efforts to consolidate its private credit platform as a single cohesive operation, it said.

In 2016, its private credit team invested more than £1.4 billion ($1.7 billion; €1.6 billion) in investment-grade assets including utilities, student accommodation, universities, real estate companies and hotels. It also ventured into new sectors, such as ports and rolling stock.

Last month, the firm agreed to a $65.8 million solar debt transaction with Ahana Operations, a renewable financing subsidiary of Massachusetts-based Atlantic Tele-Network, marking its first renewables debt deal in the US.

Another notable transaction was its participation in a £580 million senior debt injection into London Gateway Port, the UK’s first new port in more than 20 years, alongside the German Doctors Pension Fund and MEAG Munich Ergo. LGIM provided the lion’s share of the liquidity, disbursing £250 million on behalf of Legal & General Retirement and £150 million on behalf of the Pension Protection Fund.

The firm established its real assets unit in 2016 by merging its formerly separate infrastructure and property teams. The decision saw Bill Hughes, who joined the company in 2007 as managing director of L&G property, take the helm of the new division.