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TPG hires ex-Macquarie exec for infra push

Edward Beckley will work across the firm’s existing funds to source infrastructure investments globally.

Industry giant TPG is beefing up its infrastructure capabilities, hiring the former European head of Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets to seek out attractive deals in the space, sister publication Private Equity International has learned.

Edward Beckley will take up the role of partner from March and will be based in the firm’s London office, according to a source familiar with the matter. He will work across TPG’s funds to source infrastructure investments globally.

TPG confirmed Beckley's appointment but declined to comment further.

Beckley is not the first hire TPG has made in the infrastructure space. In January 2016 the firm hired Jin-Yong Cai, the former head of the World Bank's private-sector investment unit.

It is understood that TPG will take an opportunistic approach to investing in infrastructure and will not be focusing on any particular sectors.

TPG has several investment professionals who specialise in a particular field, but work across multiple platforms within the company to source deals, according to the source.

Beckley spent 20 years at Macquarie, most recently leading the strategic direction across MIRA’s EMEA interests.

He was dismissed in August 2016 after approaching colleagues to join him in the formation of an independent infrastructure fund, Infrastructure Investor understands. At the time, Macquarie had contacted investors in its European infrastructure funds to notify them of the dismissal, citing a “breach of employment contract”.

TPG closed its seventh flagship North American and European fund on $10.5 billion in early May 2016 after 21 months on the road, as reported by PEI.

Its predecessor, the $18.87 billion TPG Partners VI, was delivering a net internal rate of return of 10.7 percent and an investment multiple of 1.4x as at 30 June 2016, according to the California Public Employees Retirement System.

Among its other funds is the $3 billion TPG Growth III and it is in the process of raising its seventh Asia-focused fund, targeting $4.5 billion.

TPG, which also has real estate and credit platforms, declined to comment on whether it was considering launching an infrastructure fund.

TPG has been expanding its offerings, launching three new businesses last year: Arrow Ridge Capital, an equity hedge fund; Pace Holdings, a special purpose acquisition company set up to enter into a merger, stock purchase or similar business combination with one or more businesses; and the Rise Fund, launched by TPG Growth, which will co-invest alongside impact-focused venture capital firm Elevar Equity, which focuses on financial services for low-income communities.

The firm is hardly the first private equity giant mulling an expansion into infrastructure. The Carlyle Group is nearing a first close on its Global Infrastructure Opportunity Fund, a longer-hold, non-core vehicle with a $2.5 billion target, after hiring infrastructure heavyweights including Hastings' Peter Taylor and Richard Hoskins.

The Blackstone Group also recently hinted that it was touting ambitious plans for its future involvement in the asset class, including launching a vehicle that would target up to $40 billion.