Stafford hires former IFM Investors CEO

The manager has appointed Brett Himbury as a senior adviser as it seeks to raise its Stafford Infrastructure Secondaries Fund IV.

Brett Himbury
Brett Himbury

Stafford Capital Partners has appointed Brett Himbury, a former chief executive of IFM Investors, as a senior adviser.

Himbury, who was said to have retired when he left IFM in 2020, will be based in Sydney in his new role. According to a statement from Stafford, he will be providing “strategic advice and support” to the London-based asset manager.

Himbury led Melbourne-headquartered IFM for more than a decade. During this period, the firm’s funds under management grew from A$23.6 billion ($17.4 billion; €14.7 billion) in 2010, when Himbury joined as chief executive, to A$149 billion in August 2019.

IFM announced Himbury’s retirement in September 2019, noting he would continue with his executive duties until December 2020. The firm appointed former Future Fund chief executive David Neal as chief executive in February 2020, declining to confirm an exact date for Himbury’s retirement.

In the statement on his appointment at Stafford, Himbury said: “I have known the company for many years and have always been impressed by what I have seen… I look forward to working alongside the team and contributing to the next phase of Stafford’s global growth.”

This month, Stafford announced it had reached a third close of more than €450 million for its fourth dedicated infrastructure secondaries fund, Stafford Infrastructure Secondaries Fund IV (SISF IV).

Following two previous closes in August and December last year, the fund had commitments from five more investors with its third close.

With a fundraising target of €750 million and a hard-cap of €1 billion, SISF IV is expected to remain open to investors for the remainder of the year.

According to Stafford, the fund has so far invested more than 20 percent of its capital commitments in “a highly diversified portfolio of yielding infrastructure assets that comprises 115 underlying assets and 10 fund vintages”. The fund’s first deal, signed at a 14 percent implied discount in January, was in the fibre broadband sector.

In a statement, Stafford head of infrastructure William Greene said: “Our focused secondaries strategy has resonated strongly with investors looking to access quality assets at a value not readily achievable in the direct market. Furthermore, by focusing on core operational infrastructure assets we are able to mitigate blind pool risk, while [offering] investors immediate cash yield.”