Australia’s third-largest superannuation fund, Aware Super, is set to bolster its international investment strategy with the establishment of a new office in London. Slated for completion by the end of 2023, this strategic move aims to tap into lucrative opportunities in international property, infrastructure, and private equity sectors.

Damien Webb, deputy chief investment officer and head of international at Aware Super, highlighted the advantages of having a physical presence in a global investment hub like London. “This presence will enhance our ability to source compelling deals in the UK, Europe, and beyond by leveraging local expertise,” Webb stated. He is set to relocate to London in October to spearhead the expansion.

The London office is expected to house up to 14 staff members by the end of this year, with plans to expand the team to 30 to 40 individuals by the end of 2026. This move is in line with the fund’s goal to manage A$250 billion ($160 billion) in assets globally with a team of around 200 investment professionals.

Aware Super’s international strategy doesn’t stop in London. The fund has also revealed plans to inaugurate a second overseas office in North America within the next 3-4 years.

The decision to expand overseas aligns with the growing trend among Australian superannuation funds to seek growth in international markets, especially in private assets. From its London base, Aware Super aims to significantly increase its direct investments in private equity, property, and infrastructure assets. Webb emphasized the fund’s past successes in these sectors, particularly in real estate and infrastructure.

As the fund amplifies its offshore investments, Webb underscores the value of early access to deals. “Our presence in London will position us to secure an ‘early mover’ advantage in deal-making, reducing costs for our members and diversifying our portfolio with quality international investments,” he concluded.