OMERS Infrastructure Hires New Head of Strategic Partnerships
The Ontario Municipal Employees’ Retirement System is appointing Irini Kalamakis as senior managing director and global head of strategic partnerships.
In the new role, Kalamakis will join OMERS Infrastructure’s global management committee and report to Annesley Wallace, global head of infrastructure, according to a press release, which also noted she’ll be responsible for expanding the OMERS’ strategic partnership program platform.
To date, the platform, which offers institutional investors access to OMERS Infrastructure’s investments, has raised $8 billion of investment capital from 15 partners. “I look forward to working with the team to further expand our platform to include additional like-minded, forward-thinking partners around the world,” said Kalamakis, in the release.
Prior to joining the OMERS, Kalamakis was head of Europe, Middle East and Africa for the global relationship group at IFM Investors. She was also head of product development at Hastings Funds Management Ltd.
OMERS Infrastructure put out a press release stating it hired a new Head of Strategic Partnerships to drive growth of its global third-party capital program:
OMERS Infrastructure today announced that it has appointed Irini Kalamakis to the role of Senior Managing Director and Global Head of Strategic Partnerships. Irini will join OMERS Infrastructure’s global Management Committee and report directly to Annesley Wallace, Global Head of Infrastructure. Irini will be based in London and grow her team globally.
OMERS Infrastructure’s third-party capital program – known as the Strategic Partnership Program (“SPP”) – offers like-minded, long-term institutional investors access to OMERS Infrastructure's investment platform and global team. SPP currently has 15 partners in the program, with approximately C$8 billion of capital invested in 10 (out of 32) OMERS Infrastructure assets around the world.
Annesley Wallace, Executive Vice President and Global Head of OMERS Infrastructure, said: “We are thrilled Irini has joined the team. She brings a wealth of experience and expertise that will allow us to further grow the third-party capital program. The Strategic Partnership Program is an important part of our global strategy and will significantly contribute to our ambitions to double our AUM in 5 years and increase OMERS allocation to infrastructure to 25% in that same timeframe.”
Irini Kalamakis, Senior Managing Director and Global Head of Strategic Partnerships, OMERS Infrastructure, said: “I am delighted to join OMERS Infrastructure today. The team has an excellent reputation for combining a long-term perspective with a relentless focus on value creation – qualities that our strategic partners value. I look forward to working with the team to further expand our platform to include additional more like-minded, forward-thinking partners around the world.”
Irini joins OMERS Infrastructure from IFM Investors in London, where she was Head of EMEA for the Global Relationship Group and Global Head of Investor Relations. Prior to IFM, she held senior roles at Hastings Funds Management, and was a Corporate Attorney at Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP in London and New York.
About OMERS Infrastructure
OMERS Infrastructure manages investments globally in infrastructure on behalf of OMERS, a defined benefit pension plan for municipal employees in the Province of Ontario, Canada, and third-party investors through its Strategic Partnership Program. OMERS Infrastructure currently has approximately C$32 billion in assets under management and over 30 investments, principally in North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific and across sectors including energy, digital services, transportation and government-regulated services. OMERS Infrastructure has employees in Toronto, New York, the U.K., Continental Europe (including Amsterdam, NL), Asia and Australia. More information: www.omersinfrastructure.com.
Irini Kalamakis biography
Irini is Senior Managing Director for OMERS Infrastructure’s global third-party capital program, SPP. She joined OMERS Infrastructure in September 2022 and is based in London.
Most recently, Irini was with IFM Investors as the Head of EMEA for the Global Relationship Group, where she drove the Investor Relations and Business Development outcomes for the UK, Europe and the Middle East. She also served as the Global Head of Investor Relations. She was a member of the Global Management Team and the inaugural Chair and member of the European Executive Committee.
Irini joined IFM from Hastings Funds Management, where she initially led the development and execution of the global debt capital raising strategy. She was later appointed to the newly created role of Head of Product Development across all asset classes.
Prior to Hastings, Irini was a senior Corporate Associate in the New York and London offices of Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, where she advised global PE clients on private and public M&A transactions.
Irini holds a Bachelor of Arts from Columbia University (magna cum laude), Master of Studies from the University of Oxford (distinction) and Juris Doctor from George Washington University (cum laude)
This is big news for OMERS Infrastructure as Irini Kalamakis and her team will play a significant role in attracting third-party capital to its Strategic Partnership Program (SPP).
As the press release states, SPP offers like-minded, long-term institutional investors access to OMERS Infrastructure's investment platform and global team. SPP currently has 15 partners in the program, with approximately C$8 billion of capital invested in 10 (out of 32) OMERS Infrastructure assets around the world.
Moreover, Annesley Wallace, Executive Vice President and Global Head of OMERS Infrastructure, states: "The Strategic Partnership Program is an important part of our global strategy and will significantly contribute to our ambitions to double our AUM in 5 years and increase OMERS allocation to infrastructure to 25% in that same timeframe.”
Go back to read my previous comment on how OMERS is looking to double its massive infrastructure portfolio where I noted:
For his part, Alistair Hall discusses how OMERS Infrastructure manages third-party money successfully:
- Hall notes many of their clients are still investing in traditional infrastructure funds but they offer something extra and there remain significant advantages for those in the program to deploy with OMERS, including a no-carry clause. “We’re wanting to maximise our governance at every single opportunity, bringing capital behind us as well as alongside us in partnerships." He adds: “We offer the ability of those investors to actually deploy capital alongside specific investment teams or things that they are trying to prioritize, so all the disadvantages of investing in a blind pool go away. We allow them to invest significant capital in that single investment behind us.”
- The Global Strategic Investment Alliance (GSIA) which was formed in 2013 with four Japanese investors has grown. It is now part of a wider platform dubbed the Strategic Partnership Program (SPP), managing about C$8 billion. Of OMERS Infrastructure’s 33 assets, nine are supported by investors within the SPP (see updated figures in latest press release).
It is now up to Ms. Kalamakis to expand the SPP platform and I have no doubt she will do a great job.
She has solid experience and impressive credentials and makes a wonderful addition to the OMERS Infrastructure team.
She is also right: "The team has an excellent reputation for combining a long-term perspective with a relentless focus on value creation – qualities that our strategic partners value."
OMERS Infrastructure has a portfolio of great global assets and it generated solid returns in the first half of the year, up 5%, delivering a steady performance with stable operating income during a very difficult period for stocks and bonds.
Annesley Wallace and her team have put in place a new “refreshed strategy” focused on five themes: energy transition, mobility, connections (digital infrastructure), natural systems (water, distribution) and community (social infrastructure).
My recommendation for like-minded, long-term institutional investors looking to invest in quality infrastructure assets is to take a look at the Strategic Partnership Program at OMERS Infrastructure and understand its benefits.
You're not only gaining access to great infrastructure assets, you are also gaining access to a dedicated, experienced and very smart global team that is actively managing these assets.
Below, historian Niall Ferguson warned Friday that the world is sleepwalking into an era of political and economic upheaval akin to the 1970s — only worse.
If Ferguson is right, then you really need to think about which assets will help you navigate an era of political and economic upheaval worse than the 70s. Canada's large pension funds are already there.