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Lazard fund eyes real assets with ‘monopolistic’ attributes

The new vehicle, whose remit includes listed infrastructure, is geared towards protecting investors against the prospect of rising inflation.

Lazard Asset Management has launched a fund investing in infrastructure along with various other liquid real assets in an effort to hedge against inflation.

Lazard did not release a fund target or cap, and a spokesperson for the firm told Infrastructure Investor the vehicle did not have one.

The Lazard Real Assets and Pricing Opportunities Portfolio, based on Lazard’s existing real assets strategy, aims to protect investors from inflation through diversified investments, the firm said. The fund’s investments will include listed infrastructure companies as well as real estate investment trusts, commodity futures, businesses affected by commodity prices and global inflation-linked bonds.

“No single asset effectively protects investors against the many potential sources of inflation,” explained Jai Jacob, a managing director whose multi-asset investment team will manage the fund. “By leveraging liquid investment options, we believe a multi-asset approach can more effectively defend against a range of inflation drivers.”

Ronald Temple, LAM’s managing director and co-head of multi-asset, noted investors have seen three decades of low inflation but warned that conditions are in place for rising price increases, particularly in the US. He urged investors to “evaluate their portfolios” to ensure they are protected against higher inflation rates.

The fund’s infrastructure investments will tend to be global companies with monopolistic characteristics and pricing power, according to a Lazard spokesperson. Sectors targeted range from transportation and energy to social infrastructure such as schools and hospitals.

Formed in 1970, LAM and its affiliated asset management companies held $205 billion in assets under management as of last September. Its multi-asset team holds $4.2 billion in AUM.