Macquarie spin-out to invest in agri

ROC Partners is targeting Australian agriculture as its primary sector of investment.

Australian investment firm ROC Partners is set to invest in Australian agriculture as one of its key sectors, according to one of the firm’s shareholders, Treasury Group. The group is an Australian financial services company which buys stakes in boutique investment firms.

ROC Partners, which was spun out of Macquarie Group in March this year in a management buyout, is also targeting real estate in the country. The firm had $4.55 billion worth of assets under management when it was sold seven months ago.

ROC, formerly known as Macquarie Investment Management Private Markets, operates as a fund of funds, taking commitments from Australia’s largest institutional investors and allocating them to private equity managers. The newly renamed outfit looks to do more direct investment into agriculture in Australia and in Asia, bringing this new strategy to its existing institutional client base.

ROC is seeking to expose its existing clients, which include domestic and international endowments, sovereign wealth and superannuation funds, to the alternative assets activity which is taking place in the agriculture space domestically and elsewhere, said Michael Lukin, who is heading up the new firm.

The new firm has recruited high-profile private equity chief George Penklis from retirement, to work on developing the new strategy at ROC. Penklis founded one of Australia’s most prominent private equity houses, Quadrant Private Equity, in 1996.