Morrison & Co global infra fund reaches $3bn first close

Chief commercial officer Nicole Walker told us the open-end fund is targeting lower risk assets and is aiming to close initial fundraising at $4bn.

Morrison & Co has reached a first close of $3 billion for its recently launched global infrastructure fund, the Morrison & Co Infrastructure Partnership.

Chief commercial officer Nicole Walker told Infrastructure Investor the open-end vehicle had secured commitments from new and existing clients, with initial support coming from the firm’s existing Australian superannuation fund clients.

The global fund will primarily target long-term, lower-volatility assets in the energy, utilities and data infrastructure sectors across North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.

“The firm has traditionally been a mid-market to core-plus infrastructure specialist,” Walker said. “This fund is in a slightly different range for us, where we are able to hold the assets for a longer period of time, hence the open-ended structure of the fund is more suitable. It’s really targeted at a lower risk part of the infrastructure spectrum.

“We’re still focusing on our core strengths – which [are] renewable energy, digital infrastructure [and] social infrastructure – that we see as the initial investment focus of the fund. It is diversified in terms of its focus, but that’s where the majority of the initial capital will be deployed.

“It really speaks to the fact that investors are attracted to holding these assets over long periods of time. Obviously, we will exit if it’s appropriate, but there’s no obligation such as you would have in a closed-end vehicle.”

The fund is targeting a final close on roughly $4 billion for this initial round of fundraising, and is likely to reach it in the next few months.

“Officially, we launched a few months ago and have secured most of the capital in this foundation close… I expect [we’ll announce] the final close in the next three months or so,” Walker added.

“We purposely structured it in tranches… We could have probably taken in more capital, but I think it’s important to deploy that initial tranche of capital and make sure you’ve got a really solid portfolio underpinning our open-ended fund. [We] expect about four to six assets in that first tranche before we go out to raise again for further capital.”

The fund will provide investors with an 8-10 percent per annum gross return and aims to be carbon-neutral by 2050.