II 100: Firms reach new heights

This year we’re giving a shout-out to the eight firms whose fundraising propelled them upwards in the ranking.


Capital raised: $18bn
2020 ranking: 8

Stockholm-based EQT has raised so much money since our last edition – more than $18 billion – that you may be surprised to hear it jumped only three places in our ranking. But when you are playing in the upper echelons of our list, those three places propel you into the even more rarefied confines of our top five. The big driver has been EQT Infrastructure V, its latest flagship, which has yet to officially close but “is materially concluded”, EQT said. Founded in 1994, EQT has circa €70 billion in assets under management across 27 funds.

7 I Squared Capital

Capital raised $22.3bn
2020 ranking: 15

Asset manager I Squared Capital closed out 2020 with over $10 billion raised from more than 100 investors globally. More than $9 billion of the commitments secured were for its latest flagship, the ISQ Global Infrastructure Fund III, and nearly $1 billion was raised for its inaugural emerging markets-focused vehicle, the ISQ Growth Markets Fund. Both were launched last year, with targets of $12 billion and $2 billion, respectively. In October, the firm marked the ninth deal for the flagship fund, committing $500 million to establish European renewables platform Cube Green Energy.

Founded in 2012 and headquartered in Miami, the firm – which also has offices in Hong Kong, London, New Delhi and Singapore – has over $30 billion in assets under management.

15 DigitalBridge

Capital raised $14.8bn
2020 ranking: 33

Formerly known as Digital Colony, Colony Capital’s digital infrastructure investment platform changed its name when its parent company rebranded in July, changing its corporate name to DigitalBridge Group. Last November, it launched its second fund, Digital Colony Partners II, which has raised $6.6 billion and focuses on investing in telecoms projects across North America, Latin America and Europe. The fund attracted commitments from the New Jersey Division of Investment and the Employees Retirement System of Texas, among others.

With more than 25 years’ experience in digital infrastructure, the Boca Raton-based firm primarily invests in data centres, macro cell towers, fibre networks, small cells and edge infrastructure, and has roughly $35 billion in assets under management.


Capital raised: $8.4bn
2020 ranking: 32

During the past year, the Paris-based firm has shifted to impact investing, raising more than €5 billion across five new vehicles – all of which are dedicated exclusively to sustainability and qualify as Article 9 funds under the new EU Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation. Among them are Meridiam Sustainable Infrastructure Europe IV, which reached its €2.3 billion hard-cap five months after its launch, and Meridiam Infrastructure Africa Fund II, for which the firm raised more than €500 million, roughly two-thirds of its €750 million target.

Established in 2005, Meridiam specialises in long-term public infrastructure projects and has roughly €15 billion in assets under management.

23 InfraVia Capital Partners

Capital raised $7.9bn
2020 ranking: 37

Jumping 14 places in this year’s ranking, the independent investment firm launched its InfraVia European Fund V in July. That same month, it partnered with Eurazeo and French investment bank BPI to acquire a stake in Grandir, an operator of day care centres and nurseries.

In September, it announced another partnership, this time establishing a 50:50 joint venture with the investment arm of multinational telecoms company Liberty Global. The new entity, Liberty Networks Germany, will aim to build fibre-to-the-home networks in Germany.

Based in Paris, InfraVia Capital Partners specialises in infrastructure and technology investments and currently has around €8.6 billion in assets under management.

27 DWS

Capital raised $6.7bn
2020 ranking: 36

DWS had a busy year marked by notable successes including the €3 billion close of its Pan-European Infrastructure Fund III. The Deutsche Bank affiliate, which launched the fund in 2019, closed on its hard-cap after originally targeting €2.5 billion in June. DWS said that just over €1 billion had been committed to deals in the energy services, biomethane production, cancer treatment and rolling stock. Earlier in the year, it teamed up with CDPQ to acquire 100 percent of Ermewa, the wagon-leasing company of French national railway operator SNCF.

Frankfurt-headquartered and listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, the firm had €793 billion of assets under management as at December 2020.

29 Vauban Infrastructure Partners

Capital raised $6.4bn
2020 ranking: 40

In June, the Paris-based firm saw its Core Infrastructure Fund III – launched in January 2020 – exceed its €2 billion target to reach its €2.5 billion hard-cap, thanks to commitments from investors across Europe and Asia. Vauban has also shown a marked interest in the rail sector: it partnered with Swiss Life Asset Managers on a public takeover bid for Hamburg-based railcar leasing company Aves One in August and a failed bid for French wagon-leasing company Ermewa Group in April, for which the duo also teamed up with AustralianSuper.

Vauban focuses on mid-market, core infrastructure assets and has roughly €6.3 billion in assets under management. 

34 InfraRed Capital Partners

Capital raised $5.7bn
2020 ranking:38

Aside from jumping four places in the ranking, this year also saw the London-based real assets manager pivot away from real estate and focus exclusively on infrastructure. In April, it announced that it would be selling its real estate business after an internal reorganisation by Sun Life Financial, the Canadian insurer that acquired a majority stake in InfraRed last year.

Since the announcement, InfraRed has launched its sixth infra fund and has started a US-based team, hiring Jay Crawford from Carlyle-backed Cogentrix Energy and Citigroup’s Jack Paris. Crawford will serve as head of asset management, while Paris was named head of the Americas.

It has approximately $12 billion in equity under management – $10 billion invested in infra, with the remaining $2 billion split across real estate platforms in Europe and Asia.