Queensland Investment Corporation’s private markets team has added a former co-manager of MLC’s private equity program, to help it achieve a target to almost double its invested exposure to the asset class by mid-2011.

Steve Whatmore started at QIC’s Sydney office on May 19, becoming the sixth member of Marcus Simpson’s global private equity team. Whatmore ran MLC’s private equity program for ten years until the end of 2006, along with colleagues Charl Pienaar and Matthew Arkinstall. The three tried going into business together as a private equity advisory firm known as Long Reef Capital, but that venture is understood to have been dissolved. QIC’s Simpson said that Whatmore would specialise in analysis of US buyout firms, much as he did during his tenure at MLC. QIC currently has $1.4 billion invested or committed across 44 private equity funds offered by 31 different underlying managers. Simpson aimed to have $2.1 billion fully invested by the middle of 2011. Over rolling five year periods, QIC’s global private equity portfolio aims to add a net annualised 300 bps to its benchmark, the MSCI Global index. “;That [benchmark] best represents what QIC could be invested in if it weren’t in private equity,”; Simpson said.

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