Swiss pension platform hires ex-JPAM infra boss

Infrastructure veteran Mark Weisdorf has joined the investment committee of IST3 Global, which has so far garnered $438m from 17 pensions.

Mark Weisdorf, formerly chief executive of JP Morgan Asset Management’s infrastructure investment group and now at the helm of his own firm, is to take part in IST3 Global Infrastruktur’s decision-making as an investment committee member.

The two-year old platform, exclusively reserved for Swiss pension funds, has so far received SFr455 million ($438 million; €415 million) from a total of 17 institutions. A non-profit cooperative, it is structured as an open-ended, perpetual fund that targets core to core-plus assets in OECD markets.

In an interview with Infrastructure Investor, Weisdorf said IST3’s investment committee had viewed his experience in running a strategy with similar characteristics – open-ended, core and OECD-focused – as potentially useful to find and assess future opportunities.

IST3 has already deployed SFr200 million of the money raised, he said, through five direct investments and four secondary fund commitments. Switzerland accounted for about 30 percent of the portfolio, he added, with the UK representing 20 percent and the rest of Western Europe the remainder.

Weisdorf said the platform would seek to reach “SFr2 billion to SFr3 billion, in time” but that it would grow on par with its investment portfolio rather than chase a specific fundraising target. He noted that Weisdorf Associates, the venture he launched two years ago, is focused on value-add and that it therefore did not conflict with IST3’s objectives.

The platform’s portfolio comprises gas, power transmission, water and renewables assets. Weisdorf said IST3 would likely close its next deal in Q4 this year, with another two transactions potentially in the cards for the first quarter of next year.

Weisdorf joined JPMorgan’s Infrastructure Investments Group in 2005 as its first staff. He had previously been instrumental in the launch of the private markets group at the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, where he spent three years until December 2003.