Peter Johnston leaves Macquarie for Hastings

Macquarie will continue to raise two funds-of-funds that Johnston had been in charge of while still at the firm. At Hastings Funds Management, Johnston will work with the firm’s unlisted infrastructure team, which manages several funds investing in airports, toll roads, utilities and other sectors.

Peter Johnston, the managing director behind Macquarie’s efforts to raise $2 billion for two infrastructure funds-of-funds, has left the firm to join a competitor, Hastings Funds Management.

Johnston joined Hastings as executive director on 28 March, said Pat Lardner, executive director at the Melbourne-based specialist asset manager.

“Hastings’ ability to attract people of Peter’s expertise will help us meet the increasingly sophisticated needs of clients,” Lardner said.

Prior to joining Hastings, Johnston spent the better part of the last two years focusing on raising two infrastructure funds-of-funds for Macquarie: the Macquarie Infrastructure Fund of Funds I and Macquarie Opportunistic Infrastructure Fund of Funds I, each with a $1 billion target. Infrastructure Investor has learned that Macquarie will continue raising the two funds despite Johnston’s departure.

At Hastings, Johnston will work on the firm’s unlisted infrastructure fund business, headed by Melbourne-based Richard Hoskins, Lardner said. The unlisted funds include the Utilities Trust of Australia, a diversified infrastructure fund founded in 1994, The Infrastructure Fund, which owns interests in airports, utilities and toll roads in Europe, Australia and the US, and the public-private partnership-focused Westpac Essential Services Trust.

Additionally, Hastings has formed an alliance in with Texas construction firm Zachry to raise an unlisted infrastructure fund in the US, Zachry Hastings Infrastructure Partners. Lardner said the fund held a final close on $300 million in May 2010. The $95.7 billion Teacher Retirement System of Texas is an investor in the fund, according to a fund document.

Hastings also manages listed funds, one of which, The Australian Infrastructure Fund, recently said in a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange that it is considering divesting non-core assets. These may include its interest in Hochtief Airport Capital, an airport investment partnership that manages airports in Athens, Dusseldorf, Hamburg and Sydney.

“The sale is one of a number of options we can pursue to maximise value,” Lardner said, adding that “there is no pressure to do anything”.

Owned by Australia’s Westpac Banking Corporation, Hastings Funds Management is based in Melbourne and manages a total of A$5 billion (€3.7 billion; $5.2 billion) across infrastructure, private equity and high-yield investment portfolios, according to its website.