Sir Ron Kalifa Joins Brookfield to Lead Financial Infrastructure Strategy

Published 6 months ago

Sir Ron Kalifa, former leader of Worldpay and current chair of Network International, has been appointed as vice-chair and head of financial infrastructure strategy at Brookfield. This move signals Brookfield’s ambition to delve deeper into the payments sector.

Brookfield, primarily recognized in the real estate sector with $850 billion in assets under management, is aiming to leverage the current pressure on banks and governments to modernize their financial systems.

Global Financial System at a Turning Point

Kalifa has indicated that the global financial system is at a crucial juncture. He attributes this to macroeconomic trends that are driving a sector transition necessitating large-scale capital and profound operational expertise.

In recent years, Brookfield has invested $5 billion in companies offering financial infrastructure. The firm plans to continue this approach after securing an additional $12 billion. According to an inside source, Brookfield intends to collaborate with financial institutions, central banks, and governments.

Investment in Financial Systems

The same source has revealed that Brookfield has already initiated discussions with several central banks to invest in and provide know-how for improving outdated financial systems.

Private equity firms have increasingly targeted payment companies. Recent examples include CVC Capital Partners considering a bid for Italy’s Nexi, and FIS selling its majority stake in Worldpay to private equity group GTCR for $18.5 billion.

Brookfield itself expanded its credit card processing presence in the Middle East by acquiring Network International for about $2.7 billion in June.

Uncertainty in the Private Equity Space

In other private equity news, PE firms Blackstone and Permira are reassessing their potential acquisition of Norwegian online classifieds company Adevinta. The deal, potentially one of the largest buyouts of the year, is being reconsidered due to a worsened market outlook since the bid was first announced in September.

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