MSI establishes senior advisory board

Morgan Stanley Infrastructure has formalised existing relationships with the creation of a six-member senior advisory board that will assist in deal sourcing, due diligence and identifying market trends.

Morgan Stanley Infrastructure (MSI), the infrastructure investment and management platform of the Wall Street investment bank, has established a senior advisory board that will help it with deal sourcing, due diligence, identifying market trends and other strategic matters, MSI’s global head of infrastructure Markus Hottenrott told Infrastructure Investor.

“It’s really formalising something that we’ve been doing for quite some time and we have had relationships with these people for a long period of time,” Hottenrott explained.

For example, one of the board's members, Larry Coben, was a director of SAESA Group, a former investment of Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners I. He is currently chairman and chief executive of Tremisis Energy.

Another board member also helped MSI “quite significantly”, according to Hottenrott, with due diligence regarding the investment in Eureka Hunter, a natural gas gathering system in the Marcellus and Utica shale basins, which MSI will co-own with Magnum Hunter, an oil and natural gas exploration and production company based in Houston.

In addition to Coben, the board’s other five members are: National Grid board director Nora Bromwell; InterOil chairman Chris Finlayson; former chairman and chief executive of Aéroports de Paris Pierre Graff; Kevin Meyers, who has served as president of several ConocoPhillips companies; and Thomas Nides, a vice chairman of Morgan Stanley and a member of the firm’s operating and management committees.

“The reason why we decided to formalize this is because it's easier if the board members can go with the Morgan Stanley brand when making introductions to senior people and there is a clear tie between them and us,” Hottenrott said.

MSI will continue to primarily rely on its own team of 75 professionals who support its investment platform, and secondly the relationships and the information flow that comes from the broader Morgan Stanley platform.

“The senior advisory board is effectively the third pillar,” Hottenrott said.

MSI, part of Morgan Stanley Investment Management, invests in and manages diverse assets covering 12 sectors in eight countries. It invests in sectors such as transportation, energy and utilities, communications and social infrastructure through its teams in North America, Europe and Asia.

The firm is in the process of raising Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners II, which has a target of $4 billion, the same amount as its predecessor. In July, Infrastructure Investor reported that MSI had raised $1.5 billion.

Morgan Stanley declined to comment on questions related to fundraising.