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With almost $45 billion raised for unlisted, closed-end infrastructure funds, Q1 2020 was the best first quarter ever. However, two important caveats apply: the start of the fundraising year counts the final close of the second-largest infrastructure vehicle ever raised, Brookfield Infrastructure Fund IV; and this strong performance was recorded just before covid-19 plunged the world into crisis.
The first caveat is a now familiar sight, as blue-chip managers closing mega-funds have the capacity to significantly inflate quarterly figures. Take the $20 billion BIF IV out of the equation, though, and you are still left with the third-best Q1 since 2014.
It’s the impact of the coronavirus on the rest of the fundraising year that is harder to predict. Anecdotal evidence suggests that managers with a track record that are currently well-advanced in their fundraising processes should be able to cross the finish line, though perhaps with a few delays. We are also seeing evidence of an appetite among LPs to capitalise on smart buys once things settle down a bit. All of this should bode well for the fundraising year.