EDHEC launches infra research unit

The France-based business school aims to attract more investors to the asset class through benchmarking and education.

EDHEC, the French business school, has launched a research unit exclusively dedicated to infrastructure equity and debt. 

The mission of EDHECinfra, as the Singapore-based department is dubbed, is to establish infrastructure as a major asset class by creating benchmarks and educating institutional investors.

“EDHECinfra is a global repository of infrastructure investment knowledge,” Frédéric Blanc-Brude, director of EDHEC Risk Institute and of the new entity, said in a statement. “We will help investors, regulators, and policy makers better understand the risk-adjusted performance of private infrastructure, and design better investment solutions using infrastructure debt and equity.”

While the infrastructure institute is a newly created entity, its research team has been collecting data on infrastructure projects and developing methodologies to benchmark them since 2012. Until now, the research team was housed within EDHEC Risk Institute, which is focused on applied research in finance and investments.

According to the statement, EDHECinfra, a multi-million dollar project, is supported by public and private institutions in addition to the EDHEC Business School.

One of its supporters is the Monetary Authority of Singapore, the country’s central bank. French investment bank Natixis and the non-profit Long-Term Infrastructure Investors Association (LTIIA) are also backing the new entity by endowing two of its research chairs.

“We welcome the creation of EDHECinfra, which is a good illustration of the progress made on research into infrastructure debt since the start of our research chair in 2012, for which we have recently renewed our support,” said Anne-Christine Champion, Natixis’ global head of infrastructure and projects.

LTIIA, whose main objectives include establishing benchmarks in the infrastructure investment industry, has been working with EDHEC Risk Institute for several years.

EDHECinfra has also won the support of the Global Infrastructure Hub (GI Hub), an organisation established in November 2014 to help unlock $2 trillion in investment and operating under G20 supervision.

“EDHECinfra will continue to collect data globally for years to come,” Blanc-Brude said. “Our performance measurement technology can place private infrastructure investments, both debt and equity, on an equal footing with other asset classes and will greatly enhance the ability of investors to make allocation and investment decisions.”