Institutional Investing in Infrastructure

September 1, 2014: Vol. 7, Number 8

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From the Current Issue


To everything there is a season: Infrastructure assets evolve over time, and the risks can fluctuate between brownfield and greenfield throughout their lifecycles

If everything went according to plan, investors in Heathrow Airport Holdings Ltd., which owns and operates London’s Heathrow Airport as well as a number of other U.K. airports, would probably have expected the assets to exhibit characteristics typically associated with brownfield investments: lower risk, inflation protection and a large share of return generated from predictable cash income to help meet outgoing payment obligations.


The money talks: Key takeaways from the 2014 I3 conference and Editorial Advisory Board meeting

Each year, IREI holds its annual Institutional Investing in Infrastructure conference and Editorial Advisory Board meeting for the Institutional Investing in Infrastructure publication, and this year the events were held in Toronto, where institutional infrastructure investing got its start in North America. Canadian pension plans such as the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System, through its infrastructure arm Borealis Infrastructure, began making infrastructure investments 10 to 20 years ago, and with the help of in-house investment teams making direct investments. 


Pushing the limits: Infrastructure investing can be many things to many people, and investors want to decide what that is for themselves

In June, I provided the audience at IREI’s Institutional Investing in Infrastructure conference with a quick view of the world as we (meaning I) see it. The takeaway was that the infrastructure world is messy, really messy — especially when compared to the traditional securities and fixed-income asset classes — but it looks messy in comparison with other real assets sectors as well.

Pretty much anyone with access to a computer can find appropriate and profitable equity and bond investments. Press a few buttons and bing, bang, boom — you’ve bought or sold a security or bond. 

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