- September 1, 2013: Vol. 6, Number 8

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Give and take: Infrastructure investors have learned the lesson that leverage can be both a blessing and a curse

by by Sara Kassabian


After the global financial crisis, excessive use of leverage left a bad taste for many investors, who watched their returns bottom out as private fund managers turned away from stable returns and toward greater risks. Today, many investors and investment managers are looking to add value through strong operations as much as from financial structuring.

Infrastructure has been characterized as an asset class that offers stable and consistent returns, regardless of conditions in the macroeconomic environment, making it a seemingly attractive asset class for institutional investors looking to invest in diversified but core-like strategies. In an attempt to boost the returns of these investments, however, many managers fundamentally changed the financial composition of these assets by taking out huge percentages of debt; as a result, many assets were destabilized during the global financial crisis.

Once burned, twice shy — investors, managers and advisers ha

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