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Morrison names new CIO as founding partner steps down

Paul Newfield replaces Lib Petagna less than a week after the New Zealand-based manager acquired an Australian data centre business for $565m.

Morrison & Co has promoted Paul Newfield as chief investment officer after one of its founding partners decided to take a step back from the day-to-day management of the New Zealand-headquartered firm.

Newfield is not new to the company, having joined in 2008 as investment director and subsequently become its head of strategy and research.

His role was so far focused on developing new investment mandates, including the Australian Social Infrastructure Partners Fund and the Public Infrastructure Partners Fund, New Zealand’s first PPP fund, as well as a number of managed accounts with sovereign wealth and superannuation funds.

He will now be involved with directing the firm’s origination efforts and leading the charge on major investment opportunities. Key among his investment themes will be decarbonisation, the ageing population and technological disruption, Newfield said in a statement.

He will replace Lib Petagna, a founding partner, who is stepping back from operations but will remain on the board of the firm.

The news comes less than a month after Morrison acquired Canberra Data Centres for a total of A$784 million ($566 million; €505 million) in cash.

Morrison will own a 48 percent stake in CDC, which controls sensitive data on behalf of the Australian government and is the largest provider of outsourced data services in the country’s capital, via Infratil, a Sydney- and Auckland-listed fund it manages. It will look after the remainder on behalf of Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation.

Last December, Morrison reached a first close on Public Infrastructure Partners II, its second New Zealand PPP fund, on $80 million. The vehicle as a $100 million target and a hard-cap of $150 million.