People moves

James Hooke has been named CEO of Macquarie Infrastructure Management, after having served as a New York-based managing director in Macquarie’s capital funds division since 2007. He succeeds Peter Stokes, who is returning to Australia.

Hooke takes up the position on May 8th, he succeeds Peter Stokes who, after five years as CEO of MIC and 12 years in the New York office of the Macquarie Group, has decided to return to Australia. Stokes will deliver MIC’s financial results to the market today (May 7th) before leaving. Hooke was most recently responsible for corporate development and management of a portfolio company investment for Macquarie Infrastructure Partners (MIP). MIP is the manager of two unlisted infrastructure funds responsible for investing and managing approximately US$5.5bn of investor commitments across a range of North American infrastructure businesses. Mr. Hooke was also responsible for the management of several portfolio company investments for other Macquarie affiliates and clients. John Roberts, Chairman of MIC, said: “As CEO, James will continue the various initiatives currently underway to restore shareholder value through reducing debt levels, effectively managing expenses and operational improvement. James brings a range of investment, restructuring, business improvement and asset management experience across the North American infrastructure and private equity sectors to this role and has a track record of establishing and growing businesses in management, board director and corporate development roles”.

China Investment Corp, the country’s US$200bn sovereign wealth fund, appointed a new private equity head as part of its latest internal restructuring to boost investment performance, according to sources. CIC made an internal announcement to its staff last week that Hu Bing, who was mainly responsible for CIC’s fixed income investment and trading desk, had been appointed the new head of CIC’s Private Equity Department, said the sources with direct knowledge of the matter. CIC could not be immediately reached for comment. Previously, CIC’s private equity business was part of its Alternative Investments Department, headed by Zhou Yuan, who is also in charge of two other teams in his department, direct investment and real estate investment. Zhou, who was UBS’ senior banker in China between 1994 and 1998, officially took his job as Head of the Alternative Investments Department in January, a senior position with strong support from CIC Chairman Lou Jiwei. Zhou will remain in his current position, while Hu will lead the new private equity department, said the sources, adding both Zhou and Hu will directly report to the top management led by Lou and Gao Xiqing, the president of CIC. “It is a surprise to many people in the industry as Zhou took his current job not too long ago and private equity is certainly a very important part of alternative investment business to any financial firm,” said one source. “But this also shows CIC really cares about the private equity sector as Hu, now as the head of the new and separate department, has more power and confidence when talking to foreign funds for cooperation,” the source added.