Institutional Investing in Infrastructure

November 1, 2020: Vol. 13, Number 10

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From the Current Issue


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

Investing in the future: European asset allocation insights 2020 by Mercer The complete report, which was published in August 2020, is available at Excerpt: European pension funds’ awareness of, and desire for, action on climate change, related investment risk surges, according to Mercer’s latest European Asset Allocation Insights, with 54 percent of those surveyed now actively considering the impact of such risks in their investment allocations, compared to just 14 percent in 2019.


Infrastructure on the defensive: Industry experts see coronavirus as a moment-in-time disruptor

The current COVID-19 crisis has proven the defensiveness of certain asset classes within the infrastructure space, while shining a spotlight on the vulnerability of others — even those previously thought to be resilient. Over the past several months, traditional core assets that ranked low-to-medium on the risk spectrum took a noticeable hit, as shelter-in-place orders brought travel to a standstill, leaving many to wonder, just how defensive is infrastructure, really?


The global listed infrastructure report: Essential news and notes

A recent real assets investor publication featured a survey of the top 100 global infrastructure investors who own an estimated $467 billion. These assets are held by pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, insurers and other institutional capital owners. 84 percent of those surveyed expected to commit the same or more capital to infrastructure over the coming 12 months.


At the crossroads of infrastructure and technology: Streamlining the construction and maintenance process

So far in this series, we have explored the growing adoption of technology in infrastructure, and what this might mean for investors. The construction of an asset is perhaps the area where these changes will be most evident, with new technology used onsite. This is already being noted by those working in the sector. As Ryan Hacker, president of TruePoint Laser Scanning, says, “When we visit a job site, we’re noticing more drones, laser scanning, tablets, augmented and virtual reality, and even AI [artificial intelligence]. And this is being thought about for the entire lifecycle of the project. With the schedule demands getting greater, and clients demanding fewer issues and greater reliability, it’s a necessity.”


The energy mix: The coronavirus-induced global recession has reshaped our energy needs

What does the COVID-19 recovery mean for where we source our energy, and how we use solar, nuclear, wind, gas and oil? The pandemic has brought harsh realities to bear in the energy industry. With the world grinding to a halt, demand for energy collapsed. Low demand means low prices, meaning profits dry up for producers. But there are winners among the many losers, even during the pandemic. It is an unanswered question as to whether life will get back to normal, go back better, or simply change form. Or go back to the old ways. But most energy watchers believe the short, sharp shock will ultimately be for the best.


A Californian vision of the future: By encouraging public and private cooperation, the state shows a way to adapt in a rapidly transitioning world

California is an exporter of ideas, with Silicon Valley and Hollywood being the two most prolific examples. But the recent wildfires throughout the state are exporting another concept — crisis offers the chance to reinvent. Similar to the plumes of the 1930s Dust Bowl that brought so many people into the state, today’s smoke plumes are a motivation to pick up and leave. But that doesn’t need to happen.


A conversation with Clive Lipshitz on Canadian and U.S. public pensions — Part 1

Public pensions in the United States are underfunded, some by large amounts, and COVID-19 is eroding government revenue and its ability to fill pension shortfalls. Could this be a wakeup call to rethink how U.S. states manage their pensions? Rahm Emanuel said you never want a serious crisis to go to waste. That quote is very relevant. The pandemic is going to have a lasting effect on state and local government finances. Tax revenues will decline because of a decrease in business activity. At the same time, state and local governments face increased expenditures to deal with the pandemic and they won’t recover all of this from the federal government.

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