American Triple I to target infrastructure in smaller US markets

The firm launched last week with plans to raise capital for investments in smaller infrastructure projects located in smaller US markets.

A new firm run by veteran investors and former public servants launched last week under the name American Triple I Partners with the goal to provide financing for US infrastructure projects that many may overlook.

American Triple I, based in New York, is a new venture created by principals at Wall Street investment bank Siebert Cisnero Shank that is targeting investments in infrastructure located in smaller US markets that struggle to attract private investment and public financing.

The firm is planning to raise a $500 million infrastructure fund later this year and manage separate accounts for investors, according to David Cibrian, the firm’s chief executive.

“The problem with infrastructure in the US is not cash. Infrastructure is an asset class that’s awash in cash right now. The problem is finding enough good deals,” Cibrian told Infrastructure Investor. “Even if public financing is available, it may not be enough to complete a particular project. That’s where our equity piece would come in and our investment would fill that gap.”

American Triple I will focus on deals requiring around $300 million of investment. The firm will commit up to $50 million of equity in projects ranging from transportation to information systems and smart city technologies. Cibrian said American Triple I is expecting unlevered returns ranging from 9 to 12 percent.

The firm’s deal pipeline includes three projects requiring a combined $325 million of investment, he said. American Triple I is looking to develop technology and innovation centres at a university and a former military base in Texas, as well as backing the privatisation of an off-street parking system in an undisclosed city.

Cibrian said those projects are planned for separately managed accounts it will set up with pension funds and multi-family offices. The fund American Triple I is planning to raise will likely launch next month, and the firm is aiming to hold a $150 million first close by the end of the year.

American Triple I is a minority-owned firm led by senior leadership from the investment bank SCS. Henry Cisnero, mayor of San Antonio, Texas in the 1980s and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development in the Clinton administration, is a founder and co-chief investment officer. Other founders include former comptroller for City of New York William Thompson Jr, SCS chief executive Suzanne Shank and Gary Hall, previously executive director in the public finance group at JP Morgan Securities.

“One of the biggest differentiators for us is our affiliation with the investment bank,” Cibrian said. “We think we have a really unique asset-sourcing platform.”