A lot has changed since we compiled our first infrastructure debt ranking in 2019. There were only 10 firms listed then, but despite such strong economic headwinds as a global pandemic and a war in Europe, infrastructure debt has forged ahead, aided in no small part by demand for energy transition and digital investments.
Last year, we expanded the ranking to feature the top 30 most prolific debt fund managers as total fundraising surpassed $139 billion. This year, records were once again made to be broken. Total capital raised eclipsed $162 billion, a massive $23 billion increase from the previous ranking 12 months ago.
To even break into the top 10 this year, managers had to raise more than $5.6 billion and combined raised capital for those leading players hit $107.4 billion, a $10.2 billion rise since last year. BlackRock leads the ranking, in first place for a second consecutive year and adding another $4.25 billion to its infrastructure debt fundraising total.
In 2023, just four new entrants charted, led by US-based Ares Management rocketing into second place after acquiring AMP Capital’s infrastructure debt platform.
Only eight North American GPs made it into the ranking this year as again European managers dominated, taking up 19 of the 30 places. In Asia-Pacific, Australia snapped up two places while Japan was the only other representative for the region.
Last year, we pointed out that 21 of the infrastructure debt managers failed to chart in our top 100 infrastructure equity fundraisers, and in 2023 we again see the same trend. Taking the number-one spot on equity, Macquarie Asset Management made it to fourth place in the debt listing, while second-ranked Brookfield landed in eighth place for debt. GIP, which ranked third for equity, slid into 10th place for debt.
The 2023 II Debt ranking is based on the amount of direct infrastructure debt investment capital raised by firms between 1 January 2017 and 31 August 2022.
Where two firms have raised the same amount of capital over this time period, the higher II Debt ranking rank goes to the firm with the largest active pool of capital raised since 2017 (ie, the biggest single fund). If there is still a ‘tie’ after taking into account the size of a single fund, we give greater weight to the firm that has raised the most capital within the past one or two years.
We give highest priority to information that we receive from or confirm with the infrastructure managers themselves. When firms confirm details, we seek to ‘trust but verify’. Some details simply cannot be verified by us, and in these cases we defer to the honour system. In order to encourage co-operation from infrastructure firms that might make the II Debt ranking, we do not disclose which firms have aided us on background and which have not. Lacking confirmation of details from the firms themselves, we seek to corroborate information using firms’ websites, press releases, limited partner disclosures, etc.
- Limited partnerships
- Open-ended vehicles (capital must be raised within the specified dates)
- Co-investment funds/separate accounts capital raised by infrastructure managers that happen to be publicly traded
- Seed capital and GP commitment
- Debt strategies
- Mezzanine funds
- Financing of existing assets (brownfield), development-phase assets (greenfield) or a mix of both
What does not count?
- Expected capital commitments
- Public funds
- Contributions from sponsoring entities
- Capital raised for funds of funds
- Capital raised for infrastructure funds that seek to own assets for a period of time
- Secondaries vehicles
- Real estate funds
- Private equity funds
- Equity funds: core, core-plus, value-add, opportunistic
- Hedge funds
- Capital raised on a deal-by-deal basis
- PIPE investments