Access Capital Advisers was rocked on July 16 by the poaching of its entire New York team, lead by a man many regard as the best infrastructure investment banker in the firm, to the greenfields office of another Australian funds manager – however a departed Access partner will return to plug the gap.
The Access team, lead by Tom Majewski, will join AMP Capital Investors, as the firm’s first unlisted asset specialists on the ground in the US.
The Majewski-led team, which oversaw all of Access’ direct infrastructure investments in the Americas, such as the Carrix ports investment whose fortunes have faltered in line with the US economy, also included Farhad Billimoria, Damien McDonald and Digby Beaumont. They will report to global head of infrastructure Phil Garling, who was unavailable to comment for this story.
Access has acted quickly to fill the void, enticing Andrew Cunanan back to the firm.
Cunanan originally joined Access in 2001 as a graduate analyst (he is a trained economist and actuary) and rose to become the head of the firm’s London office, which he founded in 2007.
He left the firm in December 2009, according to Access Capital Advisers CEO Alexander Austin, “to travel and live and work in Asia”. Austin said Cunanan would now be empowered to hire “one or two” new analysts to replenish the New York office, while secondments from the Canberra office would perform a role in the interim.
Cunanan had been among ten younger Access employees whom the four founding partners had made shareholders on July 1, 2008. He had been among the five to have subsequently departed the firm, who also include Peter Crone, Julian Widdup, Guillaume Valdant and now Tom Majewski.
Austin said he expected the cycle of departures to now finish, pointing out that as Access operates on a June 30 bonus cycle, some turnover of personnel was not entirely unexpected.
Two new partners have been promoted, with Tom Snow, a Rhodes scholar, rising from associate director to partner within the Access CA infrastructure group, focusing on Australian investments. Meanwhile Kui Ng becomes a partner and continues to head the consultancy’s property group.
Among the direct infrastructure investments which Cunanan sourced, scrutinised and executed while at Access’ UK office were Angel Trains, Thames Water, Moto Hospitality and Evergreen Forests.