Mangini the coach, Mangini the (infrastructure) player

Kyle Mangini is no stranger to pressure. As we report in our Keynote interview (see p.36), he has the task of successfully building out the global investment strategy of Industry Funds Management (IFM), the joint-third-largest infrastructure investor in the world according to our Infrastructure Investor 30 survey. Few would argue that you need to be made of pretty strong stuff to rise to that kind of challenge.

Eric Mangini, brother of Kyle, has arguably faced even greater challenges during his professional life, however. For example, how about being appointed the youngest-ever head coach in the National Football League when he took over the reins at the New York Jets in January 2006 at the tender age of 35?

While Kyle no doubt has supporters who need pleasing – most notably, perhaps, the superannuation funds that make up the bulk of IFM’s investor base – there’s little doubt that Eric has faced the biggest fan pressure, with crowds of 80,000 regularly packing out Giants Stadium to watch the Jets during his tenure.

Since January 2009, Eric has been head coach at rival NFL franchise the Cleveland Browns, where he signed a four-year contract. His spell there has not been straightforward, with early criticism of the team’s performance.  However, he has done well enough since to be retained by Browns owner Mike Holmgren for the 2010 season.

Kyle expresses solid fraternal support, telling Infrastructure Investor: “Eric is one of the smartest and hardest working guys I know. He is a great source for advice and I often talk to him about strategic issues because he has a natural ability to think two or three moves ahead.”   

So how would Kyle and Eric work together? Actually they already do, spearheading the charitable efforts of The Carmine and Frank Mangini Foundation (http://www.cfmfoundation.com), a non-profit organisation which provides funding directed at increasing opportunities for under-resourced children. It seeks to accomplish this by creating, developing and assisting academic and athletic programmes.

Notably, the charity stages annual football camps at which NFL players and coaches join forces with other professional coaches and staff to teach young people the “principles, mechanics and ethics” of high level, competitive football.

Kyle is clearly as proud of the foundation’s activities as the global advance of IFM. He says: “Due to the hard work of some incredible volunteers, we have been able to provide a half a million dollars worth of laptops to inner city kids who were going to college.”