Ross Israel is the Head of Global Infrastructure Investments for QIC, Queensland, Australia’s 82B AUZ ($62B USD) investment fund. The Queensland government formed QIC in 1991 to oversee its Superannuation Fund, and the business has since evolved into a Global Diversified Alternative Asset Manager. Ross joined QIC in 2006 to create the Global Infrastructure effort and also serves as a member of QIC’s Executive Committee. He has a quarter century’s worth of experience in corporate finance and infrastructure funds management.
Our conversation covers QIC’s structure, examples of long duration assets in ports and waterways, crossing knowledge between private and public markets, managing external assets alongside a substantial internal pool, governance structure, compensation and incentives, navigating stakeholders, and opportunities and risks in the space.
The subtle differences in constituents and objectives of sovereign wealth funds from other institutional pools come out in the implementation of QIC’s investing. It’s a topic we’ll continue to explore on future shows.
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3:10 – A look at Ross’s background
5:58 – QIC and how is it structured
7:32 – Portfolio composition when Ross arrived
9:08 – What was his strategy for putting money to work
10:03 – What was the thinking behind such a concentrated portfolio
11:28 – Port of Brisbane
15:38 – Local vs. global focus
16:58 – Most challenging deal he’s done
18:28 – Lessons learned from their investing strategies
20:01 – Structure of their investment decision meetings
22:43 – Why does QIC take on outside capital?
25:27 – How does being part of a government entity play out in the deal dynamics
27:43 – How does decision making work on the fund?
29:06 – What happens if an internally run fund falters?
30:40 – QIC’s approach to incentives and compensation
37:13 – What influence do the large pool of funds have on the way they pursue investments
39:06 – How do they think about their objectives
41:30 – What is the competitive landscape for infrastructure investments
44:38 – What are the concerns as they look out on the horizon
47:32 – How do they view public debt
48:54 – Closing Questions