Sir Ron Kalifa, who spent more than a decade leading Worldpay and is now chair of Network International, is joining Brookfield as a vice-chair and head of its financial infrastructure strategy, the Financial Times (FT) reported Monday (Oct. 23).
The FT report notes that Brookfield — which has $850 billion in assets under management and is known primarily in the real estate sector — is hoping to capitalize on the pressure facing banks and governments to upgrade their financial systems.
“The global financial system is at an inflection point, with macroeconomic trends driving a sector transition that requires scale capital and deep operating expertise,” Kalifa said.
According to the FT, Brookfield has invested $5 billion into companies that provide financial infrastructure in recent years and intends to continue that strategy after raising another $12 billion. A source close to the matter told the newspaper that that means working with financial institutions, central banks and governments.
That source added that the company has already held talks with some central banks about investing in and providing expertise to help enhance outdated financial systems.
Elsewhere in the private equity space, Sunday (Oct. 22) brought a report that PE firms Blackstone and Permira were reconsidering their potential acquisition of Norwegian online classifieds company Adevinta.
The potential deal, which would have been one of the biggest buyouts of the year, is being taken back to the investment committees of the firms for further discussion, Bloomberg reported.
That report noted that the market outlook has worsened since news of the bid first emerged in September, dampening the firms’ desire to make such a substantial bet during uncertain times.