USS strengthens Private Markets team as it continues its shift into direct investments

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USS Investment Management has hired three senior members to the Private Markets team and promoted Rob Horsnall to Head of Direct Private Equity.

The three senior hires – Bob Hewson, Craig McAllister and Rob Brindley – have joined the Private Markets Group as Investment Managers in Private Equity, Real Assets, and Private Credit and Special Situations respectively. Details of each individual are included in the Notes to Editors.

The introduction of the new Head of Direct Private Equity role reflects a continuing shift towards direct investments and an increased focus on applying USS’s long-term capital to acquire market leading businesses with the capability to provide sustainable income or growth over the long-term.

Mike Powell, Head of Private Markets Group, USS Investment Management, said:

“I am very pleased to welcome the new senior additions to the Private Markets team at USS. It’s further evidence of our commitment to grow the private markets capability at USS, in particular our ability to acquire and manage assets directly."

“The continued growth of our direct investment programme is core to our investment belief that the in-house team can deliver superior after-cost risk-adjusted returns, and bring additional benefits for our members in terms of alignment of interests and greater governance over our investments. Complementary to our direct programme, USS will continue to be a significant limited partner working closely with our general partners to support the breadth of our private markets investment programme.”

Rob Horsnall, Head of Direct Private Equity, USS Investment Management, added:

“I‘m delighted to lead USS’s strategy to invest in direct, low risk Private Equity assets. The flexibility of investment approach and philosophy at USS has enabled us to acquire businesses that do not neatly fit within traditional asset classes but are fundamentally attractive investments, well-suited to a long term asset owner like USS.”

USS’s first two investments in Direct Private Equity were the 100% acquisition of Moto, the largest UK motorway service area owner and operator, and the acquisition of Westerleigh, a market leading crematoria provider.