Helping to create 530 new homes: Carlos Fernandez's role on a social housing project

Carlos Fernandez likes that his work allows him to have a positive, tangible impact. In his graduate year, he was given the opportunity to work on Macquarie's bid and financial close to build 530 new homes and apartments in Dublin as part of a social housing PPP project in Ireland.

 

Carlos Fernandez believes it's important that the work he does is challenging and that also has a positive, tangible impact across the different stakeholders of the projects. He feels he's found this balance as an Investment Banking Analyst in the Infrastructure and Energy team in Macquarie Capital.

Carlos initially joined Macquarie as an off-cycle intern in 2016 for 6 months, working in infrastructure principal investments covering EMEA and Latin America. Afterwards, he received a return offer to join Macquarie's graduate program in mid-2017.

The opportunity to make a direct impact

Over a two-and-a half year career with Macquarie, Carlos says the highlight has been working as part of the team building the financial model, carrying out the due diligence, and structuring the financing and equity investment for Ireland’s first social housing public private partnership (PPP) project.

The €120 million Social Housing Bundle bid was put together by a consortium including Macquarie Capital, John Sisk & Son Ltd and Choice Housing Ireland Limited, and reached financial close on March 2019. The project includes the financing, design, construction and maintenance of six social housing development sites located in and around Dublin, which will result in over 530 new homes and apartments.

“We secured the financing for this project and these homes are now being built and will be available in two years to tenants in Dublin," Carlos says. “It has a direct impact in society and will help people."

“I think that's one of the greatest parts of working in the Infrastructure and Energy team at Macquarie. This direct impact is a really important and interesting part of the job."

“I was proud to work on what was a very competitive proposal from both a financial and technical perspective," says Carlos.

A dynamic and holistic approach to infrastructure

Having completed a Master’s degree in Civil Engineering, Carlos was initially attracted to Macquarie for two key reasons.

“Macquarie is a leader in infrastructure investing and that was important to me, having earned a degree related to this field," Carlos says. “The Macquarie approach to infrastructure projects is also unique from a financial point of view, as a principal investor, only ever utilising Macquarie Group’s own balance sheet, and also from an advisory perspective.”

“Also, the Infrastructure and Energy Group is growing," Carlos explains. “And here there is a great opportunity to grow with the team."

A fast-paced learning ground with real results

Carlos describes his graduate year in Infrastructure and Energy as a fantastic training ground. He also liked that it kicked off with a month of formal training spent with other grads and peers from across the globe in New York and London.

Carlos says there's great variety in the work and no such thing as an average day. He often finds himself working on a couple of projects at the same time, including tasks such as financial modelling, due diligence, and discussing considerations with clients, co-investors, lenders and advisers.

“The most important part of the grad year for me was working on live transactions with the potential for real impact across a large number of stakeholders," says Carlos.

“I've learned a lot working across different jurisdictions (including Ireland, Colombia, the UK and Portugal), sectors, and types of projects. I had massive exposure from day one, and I took on responsibility while learning from others with more experience. Part of the process is gradually developing your own management skills."

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