AXA IM Alts names new Australian head

Antoine Mesnage
AXA Investment Managers - Real Assets - Country Head
Date: 16 June 2022
Position: Country Head
By Elizabeth Fry

AXA IM Alts has announced a series of senior internal appointments to its Australian leadership team as it continues to drive growth in the local market.

Antoine Mesnage will head up the firm's local business, replacing Kumar Kalyanakumar, who will depart in September.

Mesnage, currently head of transactions for France at AXA IM Alts, will relocate to Australia.

In his current role, he has led deals worth more than €11 billion across all strategies and sectors, including residential and forestry.

Further, the €188 billion alternative investments manager has promoted Chris Willey and James Cox as head of asset management and ESG, and head of fund management, respectively.

The recruits replace Quentin Shaw, who previously held both roles.

Both Willey and Cox have been with the Australian business for over 15 years.

Willey has over 27 years' experience in the institutional fund management sector, specialising in ESG integration.

For his part, Cox has spent the past several years spearheading the AXA Group's deployment of capital in the Australian market.

AXA IM Alts regional head Laurent Jacquemin said the Australian business is integral to the manager's sizeable growth ambitions for the Asia Pacific.

"Antoine brings significant knowledge, skills, and years of expertise from his time in Europe, and I look forward to working with him to spearhead the next phase of growth in the Australian market," he said.

"As long-standing senior members of the Australian business, and with a deep understanding of the local market, Chris and James will be instrumental in complementing Antoine in achieving our growth ambitions."

Since 2016, when AXA IM Alts entered the local market, Kalyanakumar and Shaw have been instrumental in repositioning the Australian platform in the alternative real estate market.

Both executives will depart the business on 30 September 2022.

"I would like to take this opportunity to recognise the passion and energy of Kumar in repositioning and transforming the business as the leading alternative real estate investment manager in Australia," added Jacquemin.

"I would also like to thank Quentin for his commitment to AXA IM Alts over the past 6 years and in steering the asset and funds management parts of the business excellently."

Kalyanakumar said after seeing the business grow from a boutique to be part of a global platform, he is looking forward to embarking on a new chapter and playing an influential role within the institutional real estate and infrastructure sector.

"Sustainable and responsible investment is a passion of mine and it will be central to long-term performance as the world transitions to a low carbon economy."