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HMC Capital appoints ex-PM Julia Gillard to chair new Energy Transition Fund

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By Imelda Cotton - 
HMC Capital ASX Julia Gillard Energy Transition Fund

Diversified asset management firm HMC Capital (ASX: HMC) has announced that former Australian prime minister Julia Gillard will chair its soon-to-be-launched Energy Transition Fund.

The company expects to raise $2 billion from institutional and wholesale investors later this year to kick-start the fund, which will invest in up to 15 gigawatts of assets across the energy value chain including wind, solar, battery, biofuels and emerging technologies.

It is currently conducting due diligence across a number of opportunities that will form the basis of a seed portfolio and plans to manage market and contracting risks through partnerships with leading commercial and industrial energy users.

Net-zero driver

Ms Gillard welcomed the appointment, saying that the fund could become a “genuine driver” of Australia’s transition to net-zero carbon by 2050.

“I am excited and honored to be appointed chair,” she said.

“In my time as prime minister, I devoted a great deal of my government’s energy to fighting climate change and this new role is a continuation of that commitment.”

“It is in our nation’s interest to better harness our abundant opportunities in solar, wind and other renewable sources of energy to help us honor our commitments to the world on combating climate change.”

“I have great confidence that this fund will make a genuine impact, while also delivering for investors.”

Energy transition

HMC managing director David Di Pilla said Australia had a “substantial investment opportunity” in energy transition.

“The opportunity has not yet been properly defined for investors, let alone captured,” he said.

“We are absolutely delighted that a person of Julia’s global standing and experience has agreed to chair our new fund in this sector.”

“Her deep insights, policy experience and relationships will be invaluable to creating a truly differentiated opportunity in the energy transition space.”

Advisory board

The company plans to assemble a team of advisory board members headed by asset management specialist Angela Karl.

Ms Karl was a former partner at Queensland government-owned QIC Global Infrastructure, where she led the growth of their energy and utilities portfolio including the establishment of Australia’s largest utility-scale renewable energy business.