Prostar expands team as it launches $750m fund – exclusive

Washington State Investment Board becomes the first major investor in the Prostar Energy Infrastructure Fund II with a $200m commitment.

Prostar Capital has hired two people from Apollo Global Management and KPMG as it begins raising a $750 million fund.

According to a source familiar with the matter, the Connecticut-based firm – which focuses on midstream energy investments – has appointed Brooke Callaghan to head investor relations and Garrett Sussman to lead portfolio management. Callaghan previously worked with investors across Apollo’s real assets, private equity and credit strategies. Sussman provided infrastructure valuation and consulting services at KPMG.

The hires came two months after the firm began “major marketing” of its Prostar Energy Infrastructure Fund II. In May, Prostar Capital also announced the acquisition of an oil-storage terminal facility from NuStar Energy.

According to the source, Prostar Energy Infrastructure Fund II has received its first commitment with $200 million from the Washington State Investment Board, which manages $134.7 billion on behalf of 17 retirement plans in the US state. The pension fund manager had made three prior commitments to Prostar funds, including $100 million to the Capital Asia-Pacific Energy Infrastructure Fund in 2014.

Prostar Energy Infrastructure Fund II is targeting mid-market midstream opportunities and will invest between $50 million and $150 million per deal, the source said. The assets it will invest in include those involved in gathering, processing, storing, transmitting and distributing energy. Most of these assets will be located in North America and Asia-Pacific.

Prostar Capital, which also has offices in Sydney and Hong Kong, was created in 2012 by Steve Bickerton and Dave Noakes. It launched its first fund that year, which raised $400 million and is now more than 90 percent deployed. The firm has deployed around $500 million to date.

In March, Prostar Capital appointed Marcus Lorentz as a principal. He joined from French bank Natixis, where he served as director of project finance. In January, it hired Robert Dowling, who previously worked at Pacific Road Capital and Deloitte, as an analyst.