New infra asset management head at InfraRed

Gareth Craig, the unit’s current chief, is to retire after 26 years at the UK firm.

InfraRed Capital Partners (InfraRed), the London-headquartered fund manager, has appointed Stewart Orrell as head of infrastructure asset management.

Orrell will join the firm from UK developer Balfour Beatty, where he has spent 17 years building and managing transport, transmission, waste and renewable energy infrastructure assets. He will succeed Gareth Craig, who is retiring after 26 years at InfraRed.

His professional career started at an early age as he left school at 16 to join the UK police force, where he also took up legal studies at Lancashire Polytechnic. He then graduated from Cardiff University and qualified as a Chartered Accountant with auditing firm Price Waterhouse (now PriceWaterhouseCoopers).

In his new role, Orrell will head a team responsible for managing more than 160 social and transportation infrastructure assets with a combined equity value of about £5 billion (€7 billion; $7.8 billion). These include the UK Home Office, the Singapore Sports Hub and the A63 motorway in France.

The latest deals sealed by InfraRed include a pledge of up to £100 million for the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon – a £1 billion, 320-megawatt power plant in Southern Wales – and a stake in Texas’s $800 million SH 288 project, for which it was chosen as preferred bidder last March alongside Spanish developer ACS.

The firm recently reshuffled its overseas team as it seeks to acquire further assets in the US and Canada, with partner Bryn Jones relocating to New York to head its North American unit and Sonia McMillan assuming a coordination role for business development in the region.

Originally backed by UK lender HSBC, the firm is now owned by its management team following a spin-out completed in April 2011. It has launched nine funds, including HICL and The Renewables Infrastructure Group, two infrastructure companies listed on the London Stock Exchange, since its inception 25 years ago.