QIC appoints Costello to chair new $528mn Global Infrastructure Fund

Alternatives asset manager QIC launches hybrid global infrastructure fund and snatches New Zealand SWF’s ex ceo for corporate governance.

Brisbane-based Queensland Investment Corporation , Queensland’s global diversified alternatives investment firm today announced it had received initial capital commitments totaling A$645 million (€467million; $528 million) from four institutional investors for its new Global Infrastructure Fund (the Fund) and appointed Paul Costello to chair the latter’s committee (the Committee).

Action is underway to gain regulatory fund registrations in a number of OECD jurisdictions for the recently launched QIC Global Infrastructure Fund, that is now open to Australian institutional investors and is intended to be made available to offshore investors.

“The QGIF has been created in response to demand from QIC’s existing clients. It follows the same path of evolution the firm has taken with other asset classes such as Global Real Estate and Global Liquid Strategies where many of its’ clients invest through fund structures, said Ross Israel, QIC co-founder, in an email exchange with Infrastructure Investor.

“The Fund’s creation is also a response to growing allocations to infrastructure among investors globally. A healthy pipeline of potential investments and a desire to expand our successful strategy globally are also influences. This helps us attract and retain industry best investment talent,” he explained. 

Most infrastructure opportunities for the Fund are expected to come from the three broad sectors of transport, energy & utilities, and PPP/Social.  QGIF will make unlisted equity and equity-related investments in infrastructure assets and related companies, located in developed OECD countries, predominantly in Australia.

The Fund is a long-term investment fund with a discrete capital raising period, focused on long term asset management and driving stable cash flows. 

It adopts a hybrid structure, with characteristics of both closed-ended and open-ended funds.

Capital commitments have come from four investors comprising two QIC foundation clients, an Asian sovereign wealth fund and a major Australian superannuation fund.

Co-founding partners, Ross Israel and Matina Papathanassiou said they had chosen Paul Costello after several months’ consideration of the most robust and contemporary governance attributes.

“Paul Costello has extensive experience where his reputation is outstanding as an investment committee member – for being a lateral thinker, professional challenger with deep industry experience to provide extensive value add and assurance,” wrote Israel.

“I’m pleased to be joining QIC at an especially exciting time for its global infrastructure capability. Governments around the world are recognising a greater role for private sector participation in infrastructure and QIC’s infrastructure pedigree is second to none,” said Costello in a statement.

Prior to his new position Costello was inaugural managing director of the firm’s Future Fund and, and prior to joining the firm, he was chief executive officer of the New Zealand Superannuation Fund.

As independent chairman of the Fund’s committee he will review all investments and divestment proposals made by QIC’s Global Infrastructure team and ensure that risks are satisfactorily identified, managed, measured and reported on, alongside QIC’s two founding partners, and two partners on a rotating basis, including Peter Forbes, a highly experienced independent expert.