altThe chief executive of Industry Funds Management (IFM), Brett Himbury (pictured), has won board approval to make a “modest” profit, and will be helped in that regard by $250 million across two new mandates just awarded it by Cbus.

Cbus, one of 35 industry fund shareholders of IFM, revealed yesterday it had directed $200 million into the manager’s infrastructure debt capability, and $50 million into its credit opportunities capability, both of which are overseen by the executive director of debt investments, Robin Miller.

“These opportunities won’t be around forever,” Cbus chief investment officer Trish Donohue said of the new mandates.

Meanwhile last week, Himbury recapped on a busy start to his career amidst the industry funds movement, after years spent in such quintessentially ‘retail’ roles as running financial planning for Commonwealth Bank, and running the funds management subsidiary for Suncorp.

He admitted that while many of IFM’s shareholders would prefer to have profits handed back in the form of lower fees, he had convinced the board that if the manager was going to continue to compete with the likes of Macquarie Bank (on the infrastructure deal origination side) or Tyndall (on the funds management side) it needed a comparatively modest profit to reinvest in the business.

Himbury noted that such investment weas already happening, with IFM trebling its cost base over the last four years to allow a series of international office openings, even while revenues were “going to hell in a handbasket”.

Himbury said that executive remuneration could not be linked directly to profit under the “member focused” model adopted by IFM, but that performance would still be rewarded when it exceeded predetermined hurdles.

Having moved to Melbourne from his native Sydney for the third time, Himbury indicated he was still adjusting to occasionally being addressed as “comrade”. However the executive has fully adjusted to his new environment in terms of distribution strategy.

“You won’t find us on a retail funds management platform,” he declared.




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