II 50 countdown: 19-11

The fourth in our six-part countdown of the II 50, ranking the infrastructure asset class's top managers.

The II 50 countdown

A closer look at which managers made the cut (and how they got there)

Firms 50-40

Firms 39-30

Firms 29-20

Firms 10-6

Firms 5-1

The II 50 is back, and it’s a more expensive club to join than ever before.

You now need $1.98 billion to get into our ranking – versus $1.34 billion in 2017 – and a whooping $55.53 billion if you’re hoping to unseat Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets from the top spot, a position it’s been forcefully holding on to since 2010.

In fact, to crack into the top five, you need a minimum of $17.7 billion and at least $10.55 billion to feature in the top 10. That compares with a minimum of $13.77 billion to make the top five in 2017 and $7.41 billion for the top 10.

Going back just four years, however, it was a completely different picture, showing how much the asset class has grown in that short time period. In 2014, you could make it into the top 10 with just $4.57 billion; only two firms – GIP and Brookfield, then at numbers two and three, respectively – raised more than $10 billion; and MIRA got to the number one spot with ‘only’ $27.34 billion.

To get the full picture on how times have changed, click here for this year’s II 50 ranking, along with our methodology.

Now, we continue our countdown of the mangers that made the grade 19-11.

19 – Infracapital

Infra duo: Lennon and Clarke leading Infracapital

$5.99bn
HQ: UK
2017 position: 37

One of the highest climbers in this year’s rankings, Infracapital’s standing has been boosted by the closing of its third fund on £1.85 billion, about six months after it closed its first greenfield fund on £1.25 billion in November 2017. Infracapital has been delivering some of the better returns in the market on its earlier-vintage funds. And with its first fund being launched in 2005, the M&G subsidiary has certainly withstood the test of time, as well as becoming a more diversified European manager from its earlier UK-focused days.

18 – Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners

Copenhagen: home of a renewables powerhouse

$6.09bn
HQ: Denmark
2017 position: 24

CIP’s rise in the rankings comes after the Danish firm closed its third fund on €3.5 billion. CIP’s third fundraising attempt in five years charts a growth story from its first €1 billion fund containing one LP to 42 in the latest drive, more than double the investors in its sophomore vehicle. The fund series has always been focused on renewable power, although more recent years have seen it move into new markets such as Taiwan and Australia, as well as new technologies such as geothermal power.

17 – DIF

DIF: long road to success

$6.36bn
HQ: Netherlands
2017 position: 25

DIF’s growth in 2018 adds up to two nine-place jumps in the past two years, showing steady growth. The Dutch firm collected €1.9 billion for its DIF Infrastructure V fund, some €400 million above its original target, as well as raising €450 million for DIF Core Infrastructure Fund I at the tail-end of last year. DIF V secured a 100 percent re-up rate, while also garnering significant funds from beyond Europe. The manager remains committed to investing in PPPs, with the fifth fund looking to invest between 60 and 70 percent of proceeds in the sector, a majority of which will remain in Europe.

16 – ArcLight Capital Partners

Pipelines: pointing towards transition

$7.25bn
HQ: US
2017 position: 12

One of the earliest energy fund managers continues to maintain a high-profile spot in the rankings, despite dropping a few places compared with last year. While its last fund closed was the $5.6 billion ArcLight Energy Partners Fund VI in 2015, the firm is back in the market with its seventh vehicle, expected to continue its strategy of investing across the energy market, from renewables such as wind and hydro to gas-fired plants and midstream energy.

15 – EQT Partners

EQT: targeting €8bn with Fund IV

$7.27bn
HQ: Sweden
2017 position: 11

After doubling its second fund last year to reach a €4 billion close on EQT Infrastructure III, the Stockholm-headquartered outfit has spent significant time bulking up on telecoms investments in the US, the Netherlands and Norway, ultimately combining the latter investment with a Danish platform. Safe to say, as its above-average returns demonstrate, EQT doesn’t do things the conventional way, with the firm also teaming up with Temasek for Asia-based investments. Expect the group to be back with another large fundraising next year, poised to be about double the size of EQT III.

14 – Antin Infrastructure Partners

Antin: pushing infra’s boundaries

$8.17bn
HQ: France
2017 position: 10

After closing its largest fund on €3.6 billion in late 2016, the French fund manager has been busy deploying capital over the past year, particularly in the digital infrastructure space.

In February, it announced its first deal outside Europe, acquiring US fibre-optic developer, FirstLight Fiber, following that with another two fibre deals in the UK and Spain. More recently, however, its acquisition of Norway-based Sølvtrans, the world’s largest wellboat company for the transport of live salmon and trout, has once again sparked debate about how far the boundaries of infrastructure can stretch.

13- KDB Infrastructure Investments Asset Management Company

KDB: backed by large Korean LPs

$9.55bn
HQ: Korea
2017 position: 14

Korea’s largest alternative investment asset manager with a sizeable global portfolio of infrastructure assets under management spanning roads, railways, renewables and energy, KDB manages a plethora of funds backed by some of Korea’s biggest LPs. The latter include Korea Post, the Public Officials Benefit Association, Korea Teachers Pension and 13 life insurers, such as likes of Samsung Life, Kyobo Life, Daehan Life.

12 – BlackRock Real Assets

M&A: First Reserve is now fully integrated into BlackRock’s infra team

$10.49bn
HQ: US
2017 position: 6

The acquisition of First Reserve’s energy infrastructure funds is just one of several highlights that featured in the New York-based fund manager’s course during the past 12 to 18 months.

In July 2017, it raised $1.65 billion for its second Global Renewable Power Fund and added another £475 million ($619.2 million; €539.5 million) to its Renewable Income UK fund for a total of £1.1 billion, making it the largest renewable energy fund in the UK. A year later, it reached a $1.5 billion first close on Global Energy and Power Infrastructure Fund III, the first vehicle to be launched by the former First Reserve team after being acquired by BlackRock.

The firm has not only been busy building up its AUM, it has also been bolstering its talent pool by luring Macquarie Capital’s managing director Ed Winter to its energy investment team and bulking up its research team with new hires in Europe and Asia in response to growing client demand for real estate and infrastructure.

11 – AMP Capital

AMP Capital: scope to climb further in next year’s ranking

$10.53bn
HQ: Australia
2017 position: 17

Perhaps the best word that characterises AMP Capital’s recent activity is expansion both in terms of growing its teams as well as adding new assets to its portfolio. And the activity has been diversified across geographies and sectors. In July, the Australian asset manager poached Angel Trains’ chief executive Malcolm Brown to serve as senior principal in its global infrastructure equity business in London. The following month, it named Daniel Pilbrow associate director for social care in Sydney, as it seeks to capitalise on the opportunities arising from an ageing population.

While the firm has been busy deploying capital – it partnered with US clean energy developer Invenergy in May to acquire the 50 percent it did not already own in Riverland Water Holdings, a company comprising 10 water treatment plants in South Australia – it still managed to jump seven places. We could see it climb higher in next year’s ranking if it succeeds in raising the $3 billion it’s targeting for AMP Capital Global Infrastructure Fund II.