We still think about infrastructure as being a young asset class — and in comparison to others, it still is. But we are finally reaching the point where we can begin looking back at several vintage periods and analyzing how those funds performed during a variety of economic conditions. The 2005–2007 vintage is a perfect one to start with. Not many funds can claim to have been launched into one of the highest flying of high-flying economic climates, only to quickly find itself in the midst of a great financial crisis. How these funds survived the crisis, both in relation to promised performance and in relation to other asset classes, has helped funds today position themselves for future downturns.
Broadly speaking, private infrastructure funds raised in the years just before the global financial crisis did not achieve the returns targeted by their managers. According to Cambridge Associates’ private investment database, infrastructure funds across vintage years 2005 to 2