Thursday, 22 December 2022
Aware Super today unveiled a new investment platform targeting the acquisition, construction and operation of an independent network of intermodal terminals as the Fund’s latest strategy to pursue new sources of long-term returns for its infrastructure portfolio.
Aware Super’s Deputy Chief Investment Officer, Damien Webb, said the Fund would gain exposure to the Intermodal Terminal Company (ITC) platform and its management expertise to capture opportunities in a newly emerging infrastructure sub-sector on behalf of its 1.1 million members.
It marks the latest asset management platform Aware Super has established to drive strong returns following September’s launch of Aware Real Estate, which is aiming to build a $7 billion property platform to oversee its Australian living, industrial, office and mixed-use property portfolio.
Mr Webb said: ”Pursuing opportunities in asset classes, especially long-lived sectors like infrastructure, fulfils a vital role in stabilising our member’s investment portfolio during periods of market turbulence, such as what we’ve experienced in the past few years.
”ITC is the latest example of how we are focused on delivering strong returns over the long term, at the same time as we lower fees for our members through our program of increasing our internally-managed portfolio across all asset classes to reach 50% by 2025.”
Aware Super’s Senior Portfolio Manager – Infrastructure and Real Assets, Mark Hector, said the more than 150 terminals currently on the 26,000km national rail freight network were almost exclusively used by their owner/operators, which limited the real benefits of rail freight to be realised.
”Intermodal terminals are essential infrastructure. Consistent with Aware Super’s investment beliefs, we saw an opportunity to achieve exposure to strong, long-term returns to support our members’ retirement incomes, at the same time as enabling Australians to ultimately benefit from an open and competitive rail freight network,” said Mr Hector.
ITC Founder Mishkel Maharaj said the platform would execute a strategy which enables intermodal terminals to be both independent from its users while being privately owned and funded.
”We are excited to partner with Aware Super to build this platform of independently-owned and operated intermodal terminals with world-class levels of safety and efficiency,” he said.
”Our strategy will transform the nation’s $140 billion supply chain and logistics sector by enabling the government to save taxpayers money while also achieving a competitive market for rail freight.
“ITC looks forward to shortly announcing its first terminal which in addition to the operational benefits, will deliver for participants in Australia’s supply chain. We also look forward to sharing the projected benefits it will deliver through local area employment opportunities, reduced carbon emissions, reduced road congestion and improved road safety.”