| LONDON, March 27
LONDON, March 27 Britain's second largest
pension scheme has acquired Brisbane's air train service in
Australia that sees it bump its investment into global
infrastructure projects up to 2.4 percent of its total assets.
A subsidiary of the Universities Superannuation Scheme
Limited (USS), USS Axle Pty Limited, has acquired Australia's
Brisbane Airtrain in a $110 million (AUS) deal, the pension fund
said on Wednesday.
USS said it wants to eventually invest up to 7 percent of
its total 36 billion pounds in assets in infrastructure over the
On the same day, USS announced the appointment of new chief
executive Bill Galvin, as the pension fund seeks to increase its
investments in infrastructure and buying stakes in companies
Big investors like pension funds are increasingly investing
into assets themselves, tired of the hefty fees charged by
private equity firms and wanting more say over what they buy
The Brisbane deal folllows a larger Australian deal in the
private infrastructure sector in October 2011, when USS
acquired ConnectEast the owner and operator of the EastLink.
The motorway connects the Eastern Freeway in Melbourne's
east to the Frankston Freeway in the south.
USS has been boosting its investments in infrastructure, as
European pension funds look for investments that offer stable
returns at a time of rock-bottom interest rates and volatile
Pension funds such as USS, JP Morgan Asset Management
, Macquarie Capital have been adding staff to
their infrastructure teams, with USS - with 36 billion pounds in
assets - raising their infrastructure allocation to 7 percent of
Bill Glavin, the current chief executive of the Pensions
Regulator will join USS as group chief executive in August 2013,
USS said on Wednesday - replacing Tom Merchant, who will retire
after ten years with USS.