Institutional Investing in Infrastructure

December 1, 2020: Vol. 13, Number 11

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From the Current Issue


A conversation with Clive Lipshitz on Canadian and U.S. public pensions: Part 2

Drew Campbell, senior editor of Institutional Investing in Infrastructure, and Clive Lipshitz, managing partner at Tradewind Interstate Advisors, discuss the Canadian and U.S. public pension systems and Lipshitz’s coauthored study, Public Pension Reform and the 49th Parallel: Lessons from Canada for the U.S., which was recently published in Financial Markets, Institutions & Instruments, which is available at The interview is in two parts. Part I published in the November issue of i3 and Part II follows.


Infrastructure's big test: 10 takeaways from the 2020 i3 Editorial Advisory Board Meeting

What makes IREI publications unique is that we look to the industry participants for guidance on what we should research and write about in the year ahead. Obviously, we leave room to adapt as the year progresses, which proved critical after we set the 2020 i3 editorial calendar after meeting in November 2019. A year later, we again were joined (virtually, this time) by industry leaders for our 2020-2021 i3 Editorial Advisory Board Meeting. While we are still finalizing the 2021 i3 editorial calendar based on discussions held at this meeting, I wanted to highlight some of the key themes that came out of this year’s discussions.


Infrastructure 101: A guide to white papers and reports focused on infrastructure investing

Following a period of limited activity as managers sought to gain more clarity regarding the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, investment activity ramped up during the quarter. Aggregate infrastructure deal value totaled $7.9 billion, an increase of 69 percent from the second quarter. At the forefront of deal activity was OMERS’ acquisition of nearly 20 percent of TransGrid, an operator of an electricity transmission network, from Kuwait Investment Authority for $1.4 billion.


How to deploy capital in today's market: The global pandemic is changing the way investors and managers perform due diligence and invest in infrastructure

These are strange times for investors, particularly against the backdrop of the global pandemic. If you are looking to deploy capital, what should you do? One trend to be aware of is that more private capital is finding its way into infrastructure. “Activity-wise, we’ve seen a number of investors either make their maiden allocations to infrastructure or increase their exposures,” explains Hillary Ripley, senior director at First Sentier Investors. “In particular, we’ve observed that investors are expanding their core infrastructure allocations — likely a function of current conditions and the expectation that interest rates will remain low for an extended period.”


It's a smaller world now: The digital reboot is keeping the infrastructure market connected, creative and productive during the pandemic

i3 held its first digital Editorial Advisory Board meeting in November, connecting members from across the globe for web-based discussions. The i3 board is comprised of institutional investors, including pension plan sponsors, insurance companies and sovereign wealth funds and investment managers, consultants and elected officials from Europe, Canada, the United States, Asia and Australia.


Surging online grocery sales turns cold storage into a hot asset class

Investors have fixed a cold eye upon a niche segment of the warehousing sector. Specifically, cold storage, where demand has been increasing as online grocery sales have been booming in the throes of the coronavirus pandemic. Here’s the good news: This chilly wind blowing through investor portfolios is expected to be an abiding one, as the industrial cold-storage sector will see sustained demand for the warehousing and distribution of refrigerated and frozen food from major grocery retailers.


Subscription financing update: The state of fund finance in 2020 amid COVID-19

As the calendar turned to 2020, the global fund finance market — largely made up of subscription financing — was estimated to be approximately $600 billion, with more than 70 active lenders, and was increasingly used by all private capital funds on an annualized basis. The COVID-19 pandemic, however, has affected the fund finance market. This article summarizes the level of impact felt by the fund finance market and how it responded over the course of 2020.


Will infrastructure debt be one of COVID-19's winners? Although COVID-19 has created both winners and losers within the subsectors of this asset class, infrastructure debt remains an attractive investment that should not be overlooked

Senior and mezzanine infrastructure debt have experienced significant growth over the past decade, and they now form an important part of institutional investors’ portfolios. The European market makes up around 90 percent of the senior funds raised over the past five years, whereas North American–focus funds dominate the mezzanine market. Prior to the global financial crisis (GFC), infrastructure financing was predominately provided by banks. Infrastructure debt as an institutional asset class emerged to fill the gap left by banks that were hit with higher capital charges, making it difficult for them to make long-term loans.


The global listed infrastructure report: Essential news and notes

GLIO moderated a listed infrastructure virtual panel in mid-October. On the panel were Peter Hobbs — managing director, head of private markets with bfinance; Matt Bushby — managing director, head of infrastructure business development, RARE Infrastructure; David Bentley — founder and partner, ATLAS Infrastructure; Chris Holmes — partner, Foresight Group, and co-leader of the JLEN fund. Much of the discussion centered on a recent investor survey on infrastructure allocations. Some of the key questions posed to the panel and their answers follow.

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