AustralianSuper is expecting to triple its private debt investment over the next three years, bringing the total to $15 billion.
The fund had been investing in private debt for the past five years but had ambitious plans to increase the level of its investments to $15 billion.
Head of private credit, Nick Ward, had been promoted to manage the fund’s global amalgamated private credit exposures across the fund’s direct and indirect strategies. It was particularly targeting large loans in excess of $100 million
“The fund wants to increase the amount of member assets and number of loans we invest in private debt. We see most of this growth being via direct lending, and to make this happen we’re looking to boost our team in AustralianSuper’s London office,” Ward said.
There were currently three private credit staff in the firm’s London office, plus seven in Melbourne, and Ward said he expected to make six further offshore appointments in the space over the next 12 months as well as opening an office in New York.
“AustralianSuper has strong and sustainable cash inflows and the challenge for the Fund is to continue to deploy capital to help achieve the best possible long-term returns for Fund members.
“AustralianSuper is targeting large loans in excess of $100 million and we can share positions where we secure a meaningful allocation, but we can also do 100% of a loan position and have the capital to back that up.”
He added the fund had supported real assets that had been challenged by COVID-19 in the past year
“We supported Heathrow Airport last year to provide liquidity given air traffic has been severely affected by Covid and we have backed other challenged assets including Manhattan office space, retail parks and shopping malls.”