Macquarie promotes MIC chief

James Hooke, who has served as CEO of the Macquarie Infrastructure Company since May 2009, was one of eight division directors to reach the executive director level during this year’s round of promotions at the Australian investment bank.

Macquarie has made several high-level promotions worldwide, including Macquarie Infrastructure Company chief James Hooke, has learned.

Hooke was one of eight promotions the Australian firm made from division director to executive director, which corresponds to a step-up from managing director to senior managing director at US-based firms.

He joined the firm in 2007 as a division director in Macquarie Capital Funds, the funds management arm of Macquarie’s investment banking business. At Macquarie Capital funds, he focused on managing portfolio companies owned by Macquarie funds, including Macquarie Infrastructure Partners-owned Global Tower Partners.

In April 2009, Macquarie appointed Hooke as the chief executive officer of Macquarie Infrastructure Company (MIC). The appointment came after the New York Stock Exchange-listed MIC tumbled in the wake of the financial crisis, going from nearly $40 per share at the end of 2008 to under $1 in March 2009.

Since his appointment, MIC shares have bounced back vigorously, closing on $16.40 as of the end of trading yesterday. During that time, Hooke oversaw the repayment of MIC’s holding company debt, the pre-packaged bankruptcy sale of its parking business and the sale of a minority interest in its District Energy business.

Other executive director-level promotions included New York-based David Baron and Sydney-based David Luboff.

Baron was one of three ex-Lehman investment bankers Macquarie hired in late 2008 for its US investment banking business. He heads Macquarie’s financial sponsor group, or the team that deals with private equity clients.

One recent private equity client was Trilantic Capital Partners, the Lehman Brothers Merchant Banking spinout headed by Charlie Ayres. In January, the firm acquired Microstar Logistics, a beer keg leasing business, which is now posted on its website as a portfolio company for its Global Fund Four. Previously, the company was owned by Macquarie.

Luboff serves as the chief executive officer of Macquarie Specialised Asset Management, the manager of several unlisted Macquarie infrastructure funds, including the three Macquarie Global Infrastructure Funds. He previously served as the chief investment officer for the same entity.

The promotions, effective July, are part of the annual promotions process that occurs around May, when Macquarie announces its annual results.