Nick Ward was appointed AustralianSuper's first head of private credit, as the A$225 billion ($165.8 billion) Melbourne-based fund targets tripling its private debt allocations to A$15 billion over the coming three years.
Mr. Ward, a senior portfolio manager overseeing the fund's real assets debt portfolio, was promoted to oversee the fund's global private credit exposures in direct as well as indirect strategies, according to a news release Wednesday.
AustralianSuper currently has "over A$5 billion in private credit and we have an ambitious plan to triple the portfolio to over A$15 billion over the next few years," Mr. Ward said in the news release.
With the fund expected to grow to roughly A$350 billion by June, 2024, that would effectively double the weight of private credit allocations to 4.3% of the portfolio from 2.2%, a fund spokesman said.
To get there, the fund is planning to expand its private credit team, with a focus on its existing office in London and its planned office in New York, the news release said.
AustralianSuper's current team — with seven members in Melbourne and three in London — will grow to 16 over the coming 12 months. All of the additions will be based in either London or New York, the news release said.
That buildup will support AustralianSuper's broader private markets efforts. "Within real asset classes like infrastructure and real estate, we have extensive experience in providing different types of loans across the capital stack from senior loans for construction projects to subordinated and mezzanine debt, to preferred equity," Mr. Ward noted in the news release.
"AustralianSuper is targeting large loans in excess of A$100 million and we can share positions where we secure a meaningful allocation," Mr. Ward said, "but we can also do 100% of a loan position and have the capital to back that up."