Abu Dhabi Fund Names Deutsche Bank Exec As Infrastructure Head

ADIA said John McCarthy will oversee its existing portfolio and originate new transactions.

The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), one of the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds, has hired a senior Deutsche Bank AG executive to head its division that handles global infrastructure investments.

Sovereign wealth funds in the Gulf Arab region are stepping up spending on infrastrcture assets such as water companies, toll roads and airports as they seek stable returns amid increased volatility in equity and debt investments.

ADIA said on Wednesday John McCarthy, previously head of infrastructure at Deutsche Bank’s asset and wealth management arm, will oversee its existing portfolio and originate new transactions.

McCarthy replaces Chris Koski who left the fund last year and who was the go-to person for bankers and funds pitching infrastructure-related investments to the Abu Dhabi fund.

Among other Gulf sovereign funds eyeing infrastructure investments, Kuwait Investment Authority is leading a consortium that is eyeing British water company Severn Trent.

Elsewhere, Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) hired Deven Karnik, the most senior managing director of Morgan Stanley’s Asia infrastructure fund, to head its new infrastructure business, a banking source told Reuters in April.

ADIA, which does not disclose its assets under management but which industry executives estimate controls between $400 billion and $600 billion, owns a 9.9 per cent stake in Thames Water, Britain’s largest water and waste water firm.

It was one of the parties in a consortium which acquired a 24.1 per cent stake in Gassled, Norway’s gas transmission pipeline system, in 2011.

In April, a consortium which included a unit of ADIA bought the long-term leases on two major ports from Australia’s New South Wales state government for $5.35 billion.