Former Build America Bureau head to chair Fengate’s US business

Martin Klepper will help the Canadian firm expand its portfolio in the US.

Fengate Real Asset Investments has named Martin Klepper, former head of the Build America Bureau, chairman of its US infrastructure business as the Canadian firm seeks to make inroads into that market.

Klepper will chair Fengate Capital Management (US) and will be responsible for “driving the expansion” of the firm’s infrastructure portfolio in the US, according to a statement. Fengate, which has committed over C$1 billion ($780 million; €660 million) in equity to mostly Canadian assets and projects, says it wants to be a developer and equity investor in public-private partnerships and contracted power and utility projects in the US.

In Klepper, Fengate will have someone overseeing its US infrastructure business who had a brief stint in the public sector at the Department of Transportation, until last October. Before that, he spent the majority of his career as a senior partner at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom’s energy and infrastructure group. He has closed more than 100 transactions totaling more than $20 billion, according to a statement.

For 10 months last year, he served as the first executive director of the DOT’s Build America Bureau, an infrastructure financing agency created in 2016. At the helm, Klepper helped manage the bureau’s credit programme and loan guarantees and represented DOT in a number of projects, including a $2 billion TIFIA financing for the expansion of the Washington Metro to Dulles Airport.

“This seemed like a unique opportunity to play a role in moving PPPs forward and making more projects happen in the US,” Klepper told Infrastructure Investor.

Founded in 2011, Fengate has, over the past few years, targeted more assets in the US market. Its first US renewables deal was a 2016 investment for a 25 percent stake in a 120MW wind farm in New Mexico. This April, Fengate committed C$100 million to Canadian clean energy developer Greengate Power Corporation to help fund a 1GW pipeline of projects with the plan to expand into the US market.