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Lessons learned: The past six years in infrastructure investment have been educational, and that should not be lost on investors
Growing interest in infrastructure investing coincided with the run-up to the global financial crisis in the years 2003 to 2008, and in the calamity that followed many investors learned lessons about the infrastructure asset class the hard way — through write-downs, broken deals, inflated prices, the list goes on. However difficult this experience was for many investors, it should be more than a bad memory.
When looking retrospectively at why the infrastructure market failed to deliver the low-risk investments that this asset class has promised and should be able to produce, a number of issues influencing the way infrastructure investments were made come to mind, including:
• Capital was mis-incentivized: Many managers adopted a transaction-driven business model in which managers had conflicts of interest and were incentivized to do deals from which they