Industry Funds Management (IFM) has expanded its Direct Investments group with the appointment of Ashley Barker as Investment Director.
In this role, Ashley will focus on identifying and executing investment opportunities for IFM’s new Direct Investments business.
“Ashley’s breadth of experience in M&A and principal investment will enhance our investment team. He will form an integral part of fulfilling our mandate of value creation through active ownership of businesses across the full investment lifecycle,” said Phillip Bower, Head of Direct Investments at IFM.
Ashley has over 13 years experience across M&A and private equity. He joins IFM from Bupa Australia, where he was head of M&A. In this role, he led a team responsible for inorganic growth initiatives, including acquisitions, divestments, corporate finance and strategy development, and most recently originated and led Bupa’s $500m acquisition of Dental Corporation. Prior to this, Ashley was Investment Director at Hastings Funds Management for eight years, where he was responsible for investments across the full private equity transaction lifecycle. Ashley also spent a number of years at Credit Suisse, where he executed M&A, capital markets and leveraged finance transactions.
IFM’s Direct Investments business seeks untapped opportunities to invest directly in solidly performing businesses in the $250–500 million middle market sector. Characteristics that favour investment are those that can provide steady returns with strong and reliable cash flows over a long period of time.
“We see these assets across a wide-range of sectors including ‘infrastructure-like’ areas such as waste-management, transport, healthcare and other essential business services,” said Phillip.
Ashley will be located in Sydney and report to Phillip Bower.