GLIL seeks external investors to move funds towards £3bn

The UK pension pool for infrastructure has so far committed more than £1bn into nine investments.

UK-based infrastructure platform GLIL is seeking to add capital beyond its existing shareholder base of five pension funds, chief operating officer Ted Frith told Infrastructure Investor.

While no firm target has been set, Frith said increasing its deployable capital to about £3 billion ($3.6 billion; €3.3 billion) would be ideal. GLIL has a current size of around £1.8 billion following a capital increase last year from its shareholders, which comprise the public pension funds of Greater Manchester, Merseyside, West Yorkshire, Lancashire and London.

Frith explained that GLIL’s shift to a regulated structure last year and its registration as an alternative investment fund allowed it to raise capital beyond the quintet, which are registered as Class X shareholders with voting rights. External investors will be added to the fund as Class A shareholders; these will have with less involvement in the ongoing management of GLIL, but will not pay management and performance fees of the type charged by fund managers.

The increase in funds would give GLIL “more firepower to take larger positions” in its investments, according to Frith. Since its establishment in 2015, GLIL has spent around £1 billion in nine investments. These include a 15 percent stake in Anglian Water, held jointly with Dalmore Capital; a minority stake in Forth Ports, shared with First State Super and Cbus; and a 21.7 percent stake in the 523MW Clyde wind farm.

Its investments to date have provided double-digit returns. However, returns GLIL’s investments are expected to fluctuate, given its mixed portfolio of brownfield and greenfield investments.

Frith was appointed chief operating officer in July, having carried out the role in an interim capacity since November. GLIL also benefits from the recent hiring of Colin Simpson as head of asset management for infrastructure by the Local Pensions Partnership, a joint venture between the Lancashire and London schemes.