AustralianSuper is aiming to invest £18bn (€21bn) in the UK by the end of the decade, having earmarked £8bn in fresh capital for “large-scale, long-term investment opportunities” in energy transition, digital infrastructure, mixed-use estates, and transport and logistics.

The announcement by Australia’s largest superannuation fund follows a meeting between AustralianSuper Paul Schroder and UK Chancellor Jeremy Hunt and comes ahead of the government’s Budget announcement on Wednesday.

Schroder said: “We have developed a close and supportive relationship with UK government departments focusing on opportunities that can deliver strong, long-term returns for AustralianSuper members, as well as contributing to the UK’s economic growth and prosperity.”

AustralianSuper has around £8bn currently invested in the UK, including a 74% stake in the King’s Cross Estate in London, a 32% interest in Peel Ports Group, a 50% joint venture with British Land to deliver the Canada Water Masterplan in London, and a 27% interest in Vantage Data Centers EMEA.

It has more than 100 staff working in its London office in King’s Cross. By 2030 the fund expects to increase this to approximately 300 to manage UK and continental European assets, including real assets, private credit, fixed income and global equities. 

The fund said it had a growing private credit team in the UK, focused on real estate, infrastructure and mid-market corporate lending strategies. Around £2bn has been deployed to date across Europe, including a £375m subordinated facility to support Heathrow Airport during the pandemic and a £230m construction facility commitment to develop One Crown Place, a residential and office scheme in Central London. 

“Since opening our London office in 2016, we have also built strong partnerships with like-minded industry leaders and capital providers, especially in real assets such as property and infrastructure.

“These relationships reflect our approach to direct investing and value creation during ownership, where we’re focused on effective stewardship to generate sustainable returns for more than 3.3 million members.

“Despite ongoing global economic uncertainty, the UK remains an attractive destination for global investors like AustralianSuper which is evidenced by our forecast £8 billion commitment to the market over the rest of this decade.”

Lord Johnson of Lainston, UK investment minister, said: “AustralianSuper’s ongoing commitment shows the strong relationship we have built as they create a global centre of excellence in London. We are a top choice for major investments like this, and the government is committed to promoting the opportunities available to global investors so they choose the UK.”

To read the latest IPE Real Assets magazine click here.