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Sumpster exits LGIM as equity strategy put on hold

Tom Sumpster’s departure comes after LGIM’s attempts to expand its infra strategy beyond senior debt hit roadblocks.

Tom Sumpster has left his position as head of infrastructure at UK-based Legal and General Investment Management after the firm halted plans to add an equity strategy to its programme.

Sumpster ended his three-year tenure at the investment arm of the British insurer Thursday, which he joined in February 2017 after having spent the previous decade at RBC Capital Markets. He does not currently have a new position.    

Sumpster revealed his departure on LinkedIn, where he expressed his sadness and thanked LGIM for his tenure.

“Whilst the LGIM Infrastructure equity strategy is now deferred indefinitely, I would like to wish LGIM all the best for their future infrastructure journey and look forward to keeping in touch,” he added.

An LGIM spokeswoman said in a statement Thursday that the firm’s decision to defer the equity strategy was made “in order to prioritise its focus on the continued growth of the infrastructure debt platform”, adding that “with this shift in the business’s strategic focus, as head of infrastructure equity and debt, Tom Sumpster will leave the business at the end of April.”

The statement also said the decision to defer the strategy was made “at the start of this year”.

However, an LGIM spokesman told Infrastructure Investor in February that it was “committed to delivering an infrastructure equity investment product as part of the expansion of its real assets platform, and aims to deliver a full spectrum of real estate and infrastructure products that meet client needs”.

A source familiar with the matter said Sumpster exited after the lengthy introduction of the equity business was put on hold, as well as a halted expansion of LGIM’s senior debt strategy into mezzanine debt.

Last year, LGIM hired Jonathan Ord from the Local Pensions Partnership, although Ord departed back to the LPP after just three months in the role. Infrastructure Investor understands that LGIM had medium-term plans to launch debt and equity fundraising programmes at the time before Ord’s return.

LGIM began investing in the sector in 2012 and has over £3.6 billion ($4.5 billion; €4.1 billion) of infrastructure assets under management. It has made significant investments in the UK offshore wind space, backing Global Infrastructure Partners’ acquisition of the Hornsea One site in 2018 with £370 million of debt financing, while also backing the Walney extension project with £320 million. It has also expanded its infrastructure debt strategy in North America, led by Charles-Henry Lecointe in the US.

“Tom has made a significant contribution to building our infrastructure business over the past three years for which we are grateful,” said Nicholas Bamber, head of private credit at LGIM, in a statement. “We wish him well for the future. LGIM will continue to grow the infrastructure debt business in the context of a diversified private credit platform. We have a strong and experienced team in both London and Chicago who will continue to lead the business forward.”