StepStone hires from Macquarie, Meketa

The fast-growing investment firm highlights real assets as an area of interest with three senior appointments.

StepStone, a private markets firm managing $55 billion of private asset allocations, has appointed David Altshuler and Brenden Woods as partners and co-heads of real assets and Kate Budiselik as vice president.

Altshuler was senior vice president and infrastructure practice leader at Meketa Investment Group, while Woods and Budiselik move across from Macquarie Group where they were head and vice president of real assets respectively.

Woods said: “David and I had been speaking with StepStone separately, and we got to realise pretty quickly that it was a great opportunity to combine our experience with StepStone’s existing capability to offer investors a comprehensive real assets solution.”

Woods said StepStone’s real assets business covered all the main investment routes of primaries, secondaries and co-investments, with the team at StepStone now equipped to cover all areas.

“Real asset classes have been yielding positive outcomes for some time, so it’s certainly not a hunch that we’ve decided to bring this team together. The resilience that these assets show through a variety of investment cycles is what really attracts investors.

“What investors have realised with real assets is that they offer differentiation and a host of uncorrelated benefits not available in other sectors. Investors value the linkage to inflation and the stability of returns, particularly in the current macro-environment.”

While at Macquarie towards the latter end of last year, Woods had opportunistically focused on secondaries but sees real assets spanning all three investment channels.

“There’s definitely a place for secondaries in real asset portfolios, although they are still a relatively small component of the overall secondaries market. It’s an area we are cautious about because capital flowing into secondaries over the last year has started to drive some aggressive pricing, but these things do move in cycles.”

Woods had been known as one of Macquarie’s key men for its real asset fundraising, but neither Woods nor Macquarie wished to comment.

In October of last year StepStone acquired Greenpark Capital, which had struggled to reach its fundraising total for its fourth fund, estimated at $850 million but closing on $500 million. StepStone says it now has around $10 billion of assets under management.