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Stafford appoints new chairman

Former IFM Investors CEO Brett Himbury will assume his new position on 1 January following the retirement of outgoing chairman and Stafford co-founder Geoff Norman.

Secondaries investor and real assets specialist Stafford Capital Partners has appointed former IFM Investors chief executive Brett Himbury as its new chairman.

Himbury will step up from his current role at Stafford as a senior adviser, assuming his new position on 1 January following the retirement of outgoing chairman and Stafford co-founder Geoff Norman, according to affiliate title Infrastructure Investor.

The latter will still be involved at Stafford, serving on the firm’s investment committee and as a non-executive director.

Stafford chief executive Angus Whiteley said in a statement that Himbury was the “ideal candidate” to take on the role, given his experience, which includes leading IFM for more than a decade and overseeing a huge rise in its assets under management.

It’s quite the comeback for Himbury, who two years ago announced his intention to retire at the end of 2020.

In August, the firm raised $695 million for Stafford International Timberland Fund IX, making it the largest-ever timberland secondaries fund, Secondaries Investor reported.

Fund IX has already made eight investments, accounting for 33 percent of the fund. Five existing investors contributed 56 percent of the capital, with five new investors accounting for the rest.

Fund IX was targeting $750 million, according to Secondaries Investor data, with National Pension Service of Korea (NPS) committing $150 million.

Predecessor Stafford International Timberland VIII raised $612.5 million against a target of $500 million by final close in 2018, Secondaries Investor reported.

Stafford has raised €450 million for its fourth infrastructure secondaries fund as it targets €750 million, according to Secondaries Investor data.

The first deal in that fund, which came via the fibre sector, was inked in January. The firm did the deal at a 14 percent implied discount, according to a statement.

Stafford has $8.1 billion in assets under management across infrastructure, timberland, agriculture and sustainable private equity.