Dodging elephant hunters in the US with First State

04 December 2019 - 12:00 am UTC

Australian First State’s second attempt at an open-ended global infrastructure fund (GDIF) is proving more successful than a 2007 version. Now, with almost USD 3bn raised, the original fund veterans are looking to a new US team and a disciplined mid-market strategy, reports Shaun Drummond

Around 10 years ago, Danny Latham at First State Investments (or Colonial First State Global Asset Management as the Aussies used to call it) helped launch two international infrastructure funds as the global financial crisis started to bite.

The European version – launched in 2009 as the European Diversified Infrastructure Fund (EDIF) – has just started raising for its third fund, with a target of EUR 3.5bn, after raising more than EUR 4.5bn from the first two funds, according to Inframation data.

Two years earlier, though, in January of 2007, an open-ended global version – the Global Diversified Infrastructure Fund – was also attempted.

Global head of infrastructure and Melbourne-based Perry Clausen started the same year as Latham, as did fellow Sydney-based partner Chris McArthur – who had decades of experience in the transport sector, including at Qantas. Marcus Ayre joined in London in June 2007.

Latham admits the timing was not great for either launch. 

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