- Spring 2009 Vol. 1 No. 1

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Risk and Return in Infrastructure Investing

by Chris Beale

The launch of this new newsletter, Institutional Investing in Infrastructure, is a timely one. As evidence of a large infrastructure backlog in the United States and a public funding shortfall become clearer, the opportunity infrastructure investment holds has begun to be realized among U.S. institutional investors. What may be less understood is the range of risk and return in infrastructure investing.

Assets such as bridges, highways, airports and power generators share common attributes: They provide essential services to communities, governments and businesses, and generally must be used regardless of economic conditions. Notwithstanding these similarities, infrastructure assets are differentiated from one another in important ways. Growth prospects vary considerably. The opportunity for operating enhancements may or may not exist and the risks can be low or high. The familiar investing terminology — core, value-added and opportunistic — acknowledges these di

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