How Kylie Rampa Transformed QIC — And What’s Next for the $100 Billion Fund

“We’ve really taken advantage of a challenging point in the market... We’ve used this time to get ourselves very well organized.”

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Courtesy photo

In her two-year tenure at QIC, chief executive officer Kylie Rampa has made some big changes. Now, she’s focused on the future.

Rampa joined the Brisbane, Australia-based organization in April 2022 amid a market downturn, interest rates hikes, and subsequent inflation. But she got down to brass tacks quickly: Since Rampa joined, QIC has opened a new office, launched new investment strategies, refreshed its messaging, and restructured its liquid markets team.

“We’ve really taken advantage of a challenging point in the market,” Rampa said. “Macroeconomics have been challenging. We’ve used this time to get ourselves very well organized.”

One of Rampa’s first tasks was refreshing the organization’s messaging internally and externally to get employees and clients on the same page. QIC has operated since 1991, managing about $100 billion on behalf of both the Queensland government and 125 external clients. “Where we landed is on this message: Together we create shared value by responsibly investing for the prosperity of our clients, people, and communities,” she said.

Another major undertaking was the firm’s decision to reposition its liquid markets team. Operating for some 25 years, the liquid markets team runs overlay strategies on behalf of the Queensland government and the firm’s clients. The liquid markets group operates 24 hours a day five days a week in markets globally — but needed to scale back on some of its operations.

“We decided we were trying to do too much,” Rampa said. “We had products that we thought weren’t going to be competitive.”

In 2022, QIC shut down its absolute return bond fund and its global credit income fund, shifting its focus to its core cash and fixed income products. “We just felt that we didn’t have the bandwidth,” Rampa said. “We were competing with people who had 100 analysts across global credit strategies. We brought it down to where we could be really tailored and drive a strategic outcome for a client.”

QIC is working on integrating its fixed-income and multi-asset funds to offer a more holistic option to investors. The firm is also adding ESG screening and reporting to its liquid markets strategies for clients who are interested in these opportunities.

QIC is leaning into this client interest in the energy transition. The firm’s second global infrastructure fund has bumped up its allocation to energy transition assets by ten percentage points — to 70 percent — in response to client demand. QIC also signed onto the Net Zero Asset Managers initiative in 2023.

Under Rampa’s oversight, QIC established its private debt platform, which, as of December 31, 2023, managed US $1.1 billion in assets. The strategy invests in infrastructure debt in the United States, United Kingdom, and Europe, as well as multi-sector private debt in Australia and New Zealand.

The team is led by Simon La Greca, who joined in 2023 from Ares, where he served as head of infrastructure debt in Asia. Since inception, the team has closed 10 deals across sectors.

“The team has strong returns and a great track record,” Rampa said. “They’ve been in market looking to launch their first infrastructure debt fund.”

Another new launch? QIC opened its new office in Singapore in 2023. The investment firm has had clients in the region for decades, but, according to Rampa, having native language speakers as QIC employees has “taken our relationship to a new level.”

With a repositioned team, new investment strategies, and a new office set up, Rampa said the team is poised to take advantage of investment opportunities as they come.

“We have spent time in a challenging market to really get ourselves in the right lanes, following key thematics, and investing in our global footprint and positioning for growth,” she added. “It’s now about execution.”

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