- Spring 2009 Vol. 1 No. 1

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Spanning the Spectrum: From Greenfield to Brownfield and Everything in Between

by Sheila Hopkins

1 One reason investors find it difficult to classify infrastructure is that it exhibits qualities of several asset classes. Many institutional investors view infrastructure as a subset of commercial real estate: physical, real, tangible assets generating cash flows. Others view mature infrastructure as a substitute for fixed-income bonds with an embedded inflation hedge. Still others regard infrastructure as a private equity play, with the focus on refinancing and restructuring the business to generate capital gains. In truth, infrastructure is a hybrid asset class that has a lot in common with many traditional and alternative assets. “Infrastructure shares many common traits with a variety of assets, including real estate, fixed income and private equity,” explains Asieh Mansour, managing director and chief economist and strategist at RREEF. “Investing in a mature, government-regulated utility is analogous to a fixed-income investment with the up

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