Getting into infrastructure

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Want to be an infrastructure fund manager? There's no shortage of opportunities.

Andrew Valentine, consultant at Jon Michel Executive Search in Melbourne, says infrastructure recruitment is a seller's market, with Australia's biggest funds placing talent all over the world.

"Specialist infrastructure managers are putting teams into North America and Europe," says Valentine.

Meanwhile the Australian infrastructure industry is itself booming. Since 2000 the domestic sharemarket's infrastructure funds sector has grown from AU$2bn to AU$46bn.

Who's hiring?

If you're interested, you obviously need to know who to pitch your CV to. The large Australian investment banks, such as Macquarie Bank and Babcock and Brown, are active recruiters of infrastructure specialists. So are some Australian superannuation funds, which have become active direct investors in the global infrastructure market, and there are always the fund management houses running infrastructure securities funds.

Who are they hiring?

It also helps to know the kind of profile you will need.

"The core competency for an infrastructure fund manager is valuation skills and familiarity with capital structures, but direct infrastructure experience is very valuable," says Valentine.

"Infrastructure funds' managers are looking for transactional and valuation experience, but they're also taking on people out of engineering and construction."

How much are they paying?

How much you can earn will also be an influential factor. Valentine says an infrastructure analyst with two years' experience can command a base salary of up to AU$110k, plus a bonus of 30% to 70%.

By comparison, infrastructure investment managers with nine years' experience can command AU$130k to AU$180k, with a bonus range of 50% to 100%. Not bad for dabbling in bricks and mortar.

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