Turn to p.14 of this, the April 2010 issue of Infrastructure Investor, and you’ll find out why one US pension considers now is the time for it to start becoming a “premier infrastructure investment manager” while a second US pension does not even believe that infrastructure merits the appointment of a consultant to further consider the opportunity.
Throughout this edition, and especially within the pages of our fundraising special starting on p.16, you will find plenty of insights into the thoughts of infrastructure fund managers and those who consider putting capital their way. The contrary views of the two pensions mentioned above are actually not all that surprising. The infrastructure asset class is young and immature – so there is, as yet, no consensus view of its prospects. Committing significant amounts of capital to the space is, as we suggest in our lead fundraising feature, a “leap of faith”.
The good news is that many LPs are either coming to their own independent conclusions – or being advised by consultants – of two things: 1) the infrastructure asset class has emerged from the Crisis with its reputation largely intact, and 2) it possesses fundamentally attractive investment characteristics and stands to benefit from the clear and obvious need for huge amounts of private capital to support infrastructure projects around the world for decades to come.
This is not to say, however, that the caution of some LPs is misplaced. Because of its immaturity, infrastructure boasts few fund managers that have built demonstrably strong track records and raised successor funds. When such managers do come to market, it’s clear that – for the right proposition – capital commitments will be forthcoming. Take, for example, Alinda Capital Partners, the New York-based GP which earlier this year wrapped up its second fund on $4 billion. On p.24, you’ll find our keynote interview with the firm’s managing partner Chris Beale where he reveals how the firm was able to win over the LP community.
We also present you with views directly from a leading LP in the form of APG’s Robbert Coomans (see p.35). Coomans has honed a multi-channel approach to the asset class by focusing on funds, co-investments and direct investments. He talks of the huge need for infrastructure – but also the difficulties for pension managers like his in accessing suitable projects. A further reminder that, while the future is undoubtedly bright for infrastructure investment, its progress to a mature asset class will not come without a few hitches.
Enjoy the issue,