AXA promotes Australian leadership

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AXA IM Alts, which has about €188 billion of assets under management, has announced a raft of senior internal appointments to its Australian leadership team.

Antoine Mesnage will be head of Australia AXA IM Alts from the beginning of October, replacing Kumar Kalyanakumar.

Chris Willey and James Cox have been promoted to the respective positions of head of asset management and ESG, and head of fund management for AXA IM Alts in Australia, replacing Quentin Shaw who previously held the combined role of head of asset and funds management.

“Since 2016, both Kumar Kalyanakumar and Quentin Shaw have been instrumental in successfully developing AXA IM Alts’ expertise in the Australian market and repositioning the Australian platform as a leader in the alternative real estate market,” AXA IM Alts said.

Mesnage is currently head of transactions for France at AXA IM Alts and brings over 16 years of real estate investment management expertise. In his current role he has led over €11 billion of transactions on behalf of AXA IM Alts clients across all strategies and sectors, including residential and forestry.

Willey has over 27 years’ experience in the institutional fund management sector, while Cox has had different roles within the real estate and fund management sector, including the last several years spearheading the AXA Group’s deployment of capital in the Australian market.

Both have over 15 years with the Australian business.

AXA IM Alts entered the Australian market in 2016 and has around €4.9 billion of equity and debt real assets under management. Last year it acquired a 24,000-hectare forestry estate in a $775 million deal with US fund manager Global Forest Partners, in what was the largest investment into Australian forestry in over a decade, along with the acquisition of a strategic stake in the Moorebank logistics precinct development in Sydney for a total of $1.67 billion alongside a consortium of investors.

The business is also currently embarking on its built-to-rent residential strategy in Australia, hoping to leverage off its track record and scale in the more mature European market.

“The Australian business is integral to our sizeable growth ambitions for the APAC region,” Laurent Jacquemin, head of Asia Pacific at AXA IM Alts said.

“Antoine brings significant knowledge, skills and years of expertise from his time in Europe, and I look forward to working with him to spearhead the next phase of growth in the Australian market. As long standing senior members of the Australian business, and with a deep understanding of the local market, Chris and James will be instrumental in complementing Antoine in achieving our growth ambitions.”

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