2020 fundraising: Defiantly resilient

Unlisted, closed-end funds raised 15% less than in 2019. But with $102.6 billion amassed, 2020 is still the third best year on record.

Capital raised for unlisted, closed-end fund strategies recorded its third-best year ever in 2020, with $102.6 billion amassed, according to preliminary data from Infrastructure Investor’s upcoming Fundraising Report 2020.

That total represented a 15 percent dip in relation to funds raised in 2019, a resilient showing for the asset class in the face of the covid-19 pandemic rocking the world.

At 81, the number of funds closed last year also decreased compared with the 102 vehicles closed in 2019, continuing a pattern of concentration which has been playing out steadily across the private infrastructure market for the last few years. In fact, the top 10 funds closed were responsible for $56 billion of the $102.6 billion raised in 2020, with Brookfield Asset Management’s fourth flagship infrastructure vehicle leading the pack, after closing on $20 billion.

Despite the delays introduced by the pandemic when lockdowns first took hold across the world in March 2020 – as well as the migration to virtual fundraising – time on the road for infrastructure managers did not increase significantly. GPs averaged 19 months to raise their funds, the second-longest showing since 2015 but not significantly above the 17 months they spent on the road in 2019.

When it comes to sectors, vehicles investing in energy and renewables accounted for 58 percent of the $27.2 billion raised by the 30 sector-specific funds that closed last year.

The full Fundraising Report 2020, containing details of all the year’s fundraising activity will be published soon.