CR Investment Management (CR), a European asset management and advisory firm focused on real estate and shipping, is forging ahead with plans to set up an energy and infrastructure unit.
The London- and Berlin- headquartered company has hired Elyza Daniel to spearhead the move, in her new capacity as managing director for infrastructure and energy.
In an interview with Infrastructure Investor, she argued that extending CR’s investment management and advisory would create significant potential for synergies with real estate and shipping, which she saw as displaying a number of characteristics similar to the infrastructure asset class.
“It was a natural move to add infrastructure and energy. This is part of our efforts to unlock the potential in the energy sector where the liquidity gap is real.”
In the short to medium term, she said, the firm would put greater emphasis on the energy sector, where she thinks the market offers a solid M&A pipeline and where CR would likely be looking for secondary assets in the power generation and renewable sectors.
In infrastructure, the company would focus on situations where assets require modernisation and operational improvements. “We’ll very much try to look at off-market transactions where we can work closely with the seller to help monetise value or increase the value of assets,” she explained.
The new unit also intends to help direct investors by offering asset management advice and services.
Daniel joins from financial services company Harbor Bridge where her role has included interim chief financial officer as well as for raising equity on behalf of a private equity group investing in energy in Africa. She was previously a director at Clean World Capital, a corporate finance boutique, where she led negotiations to finance energy assets in Europe and the US for a listed Indian utility group.
Daniel has also worked as an origination director for the infrastructure funds at Kaupthing Singer & Friendlander bank, and held roles at Hypo Real-estate Bank and the National Bank of Greece.
“In infrastructure some of the main big transactions are already done,” she said. “But the environment is changing and as some of the larger infrastructure firms seek greater presence in emerging markets it makes sense for them to offload some of their positions.”