Ron Kalifa, ex-CEO of British online payments company Worldpay, has been hired by Brookfield as its newly created head of financial infrastructure investments.

Though the Canadian asset manager is mostly known for its physical assets – the company invests heavily into infrastructure and industrial plant, putting up to $15bn into Intel’s new semiconductor fabrication facility last year – it is hoping to enter the digital payments landscape, building out fiscal infrastructure as the digital transition in banking continues apace.

Earlier this year Brookfield bought Dubai-based payments provider Network International for $2.67bn to help its expansion into the Middle-East North Africa (MENA) region, and in 2022 acquired a 60% stake in Magnati, First Abu Dhabi Bank’s payments business. The company claims to have invested or committed around $5bn in financial infrastructure companies.

Kalifa built Worldpay when it was still an arm of the Royal Bank of Scotland, serving as its CEO when it divested into private equity ownership and continued to lead the company into its IPO. He also serves as an Independent Director for the Bank of England (BoE).

Brookfield has something of a pedigree when it comes to hiring from the BoE, as its previous Governor Mark Carney now serves as a vice chairman at the company. In a press release, he said that he “looks forward to working with Ron as we grow Brookfield’s financial infrastructure capabilities.”

Despite the firm's increased focus on digital payments and financial infrastructure, the top themes in its corporate filings are ESG, deal-making and global macroeconomic outlook, suggesting a more traditional outlook at the top, at least for the moment.

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