New Aussie FOF launches with $200m target

Infrastructure Partners Investment Fund will provide small institutions and HNWs with access to the unlisted infrastructure space.

A team spearheaded by Geoff Coffey has launched the Infrastructure Partners Investment Fund (IPIF), a Melbourne-based fund of funds which is aiming to raise $200 million.

Coffey, executive chairman of IPIF, is a former director at renewable energy firm Pacific Hydro and chairman of the Hastings Funds Management-owned Utilities Trust of Australia infrastructure fund.

He is joined by: former Russell Investments and Telstra Super senior executive Nicole Connolly, who becomes executive director of investments; Sustainable Agriculture Fund founder Arthur Apted; and fund management/infrastructure professionals Hugh Gurner and Gabrielle Trainor, who join as non-executive directors.

The fund of funds will aim to open up access to infrastructure to new investors. “Up until now, smaller institutional investors, high net worth investors and SMSFs (self-managed superannuation funds) have largely been excluded from access to the unlisted infrastructure market,” said Coffey in a statement.

“We have improved the availability of this attractive, stable asset class by aggregating selected funds with attractive, proven assets and offering access at low fees, with appropriate liquidity,” he added.

IPIF will build a portfolio of primarily unlisted managers, initially comprising the unlisted Utilities Trust of Australia and Palisade Diversified Investment Fund as well as the listed RARE Value Fund. Assets will include “mature, cash generating regulated utilities, mature toll roads and growth assets such as airports and seaports”.

Coffey pointed out that the ten-year average return on Australian unlisted infrastructure is 13.5 percent with a cash yield of 5.0 percent. The yield figure has been “consistent over the last 15 years and was relatively stable over the GFC (Global Financial Crisis)”.