The $33 billion Accident Compensation Commission (ACC) investment fund is preparing to scale up its exposure to unlisted assets after hiring investment banker, Carl Blanchard, in a newly-created role.
Blanchard, who resigned from an investment banking position at broking house First NZ Capital last week, will join the ACC fund in the next two months as head of direct investments.
According to an ACC spokesperson, Blanchard will head the team responsible for “investment in unlisted companies and properties”.
“[Blanchard’s responsibilities include] direct investments in properties, direct investments and co-investments in unlisted companies, holdings in private equity funds, public-private partnerships, and other unlisted infrastructure investments,” the spokesperson said.
Blanchard’s appointment also marks a significant development in ACC reporting lines with investment chief, Nicholas Bagnall, set to cede oversight of the fund’s private assets.
“The [direct investment] team has previously reported to Nicholas Bagnall, but the new position has been created to allow greater focus on ACC’s private investments, whilst avoiding creating a distraction from ACC’s larger investment in listed equities and investment grade bonds,” the spokesperson said.
Blanchard will report to the CFO, Mark Dossor, and to the ACC board investment committee. According to the latest ACC annual report, the investment committee includes: Paula Rebstock, Trevor Janes, Gillian Spooner, James Miller, Gregor Coster, Patrick Duignan and Stephen Greenwood.
The ACC spokesperson said only 2.5 per cent of the fund’s $33 billion is currently allocated to private investments.
“However, ACC anticipates growing its allocation to private investments over time,” the spokesperson said.
In April, the ACC fund also named ex AMP Capital head of NZ equities, Guy Eliffe, in a newly-created position as corporate governance manager investments.
The ACC fund is also due to name its new custodian next month, which will unify the role currently split between JP Morgan and Northern Trust.