Palisade signs up ex Macquarie unit CEO

John Hughes, formerly one of the most senior infrastructure executives at Macquarie, has joined the mid-market fund manager’s investment committee.

Palisade Investment Partners, the Sydney-based mid-market fund manager, has recruited John Hughes to its investment committee as an independent member.

Hughes retired from his most recent role as global head of principal investments at Macquarie Group in October last year. He was previously chief executive officer of the listed Macquarie Infrastructure Group, which at the time was Macquarie’s largest infrastructure fund.

Palisade, which now has more than $1.5 billion in funds under management, invests in Australian infrastructure through co-mingled funds and direct investment mandates. In a statement, the firm said its flagship vehicle, the Diversified Infrastructure Fund, has delivered returns of more than 14 percent per annum over the last three years.

Roger Lloyd, managing director and chief executive officer of Palisade, said in the statement he was “delighted” at Hughes’ hire and added that the investment committee is expected to be “very busy over the coming year as we take advantage of a significant pipeline of opportunities in mid-market Australian infrastructure”.

On the investment committee, Hughes joins Ross Barry, who was previously with consultant Towers Watson, and David Howell, who was with rating agency Moody’s.

The firm has also established an advisory board to strengthen business management and governance. The board is chaired by former Palisade managing director Ian Mitchell and includes former Australian Deputy Prime Minister, Mark Vaile, and current chair of Transgrid, Chum Darvall.

Palisade, which has a Social Infrastructure Fund and direct investment mandates alongside its Diversified Infrastructure Fund, targets equity investments in sectors including airports, renewable power generation, transmission, timberland, social infrastructure, agri-infrastructure and alternative waste treatment.