OMERS Infrastructure recruits Blackstone’s Michael Ryder

  • Ryder named a senior managing director at OMERS unit
  • Led an energy strategy at Blackstone Energy Partners
  • Sourced energy deals at Morgan Stanley PE

OMERS Infrastructure recruited Blackstone Group’s Michael Ryder as a senior managing director and head of its Americas team, a person familiar with the matter told Buyouts.

Ryder joins OMERS Infrastructure, an investment arm of Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System, after more than three years as a Blackstone senior managing director. He led the midstream energy and oilfield-services strategy of Blackstone Energy Partners.

Before then, Ryder was for seven years a managing director at Morgan Stanley Private Equity, responsible for sourcing and executing deals in the energy and industrial sectors.

OMERS Infrastructure, known until last year as Borealis Infrastructure, invests in large-scale infrastructure businesses in energy, social infrastructure and transportation, primarily in North America, Europe and Australia.

Ryder will oversee the Americas infrastructure operation from OMERS’s New York office, the source said.

OMERS declined to comment.

OMERS, which manages more than C$85 billion ($68 billion) in net assets, has been investing in infrastructure for nearly two decades. In 2017, it added to the portfolio, partnering with Kuwait Investment Authority to acquire a minority stake in the holding company of Thames Water, Britain’s largest water company. Terms weren’t disclosed.

OMERS Infrastructure grew its Thames Water interest to about 27 percent in a second deal later in the year.

Additionally, the group in 2017 announced its first direct infrastructure investment in South America. It acquired a 34.6 percent stake in GNL Quintero, a Chilean terminal for the reception, unloading, storage and regasification of liquefied natural gas. Terms weren’t disclosed.

OMERS Infrastructure also shed portfolio assets last year. It and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan agreed to sell their stakes in HS1, the owner and operator of a British high-speed rail system, to a consortium. The deal valued HS1 at more than £3 billion ($3.9 billion), Reuters reported.

OMERS Infrastructure invests from offices in Toronto, New York, London, Amsterdam, Singapore and Sydney. The Singapore office opened this month.

Infrastructure investments accounted for 17 percent of OMERS’s total assets as of December 2016. The portfolio in that year generated a net return of 11 percent.

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