River & Mercantile poaches from Aviva for new infrastructure arm

River & Mercantile poaches from Aviva for new infrastructure arm

River and Mercantile has looked to Aviva for its latest hires, appointing Ian Berry and a number of his colleagues to establish an infrastructure investment business.

Mr Berry, previously head of infrastructure equity at Aviva Investors, has already joined the fund house while a number of his former colleagues will do so in the near future.

James Barham, chief executive at River and Mercantile, said: “Ian and his team have an excellent track record in this competitive market. 

“They are highly regarded both by clients and investment partners alike and I am delighted that they are joining the group to build this new capability that is playing an increasingly important part in portfolios.”

In his new role as head of River and Mercantile infrastructure, Mr Berry will establish and grow an infrastructure department which over time will launch a range of infrastructure strategies, starting with an Infrastructure Equity Income fund.

The fund will focus on delivering long-term, stable cash flows through investing in long-life infrastructure, with environmental, social and governance factors sitting at the “heart” of the strategy.

According to River and Mercantile, it will allow investors to combine “attractive financial returns” while positively contributing to the world.

Mr Berry said he was “delighted” to be joining a firm with the “vision and ambition” to deliver investment solutions through innovative approaches to infrastructure investment.

He added: “We are very excited by the opportunity to continue to provide our investment expertise to clients in both near-term investment opportunities and over the long-term.”

Mr Berry previously spent more than a decade at Aviva, where he established an infrastructure business and built its highly rated infrastructure equity platform.

This is the latest substantial growth push from River and Mercantile, which set its sights on expanding its business.

Last year, it announced it was to invest in its distribution with a £3.8m warchest across its UK, Australia and US businesses. 

It has also been on the hunt for fund managers in a bid to expand its expertise and the firm has already hired James Sym from Schroders to develop its European equity strategy.

In October, River and Mercantile said it was looking to at least double its assets under management over the next five years and become more recognisable as a “pure asset management company”.

Earlier this month, industry veteran Martin Gilbert joined the River and Mercantile board as deputy chairman.

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