New joint venture targets urban US infrastructure

Australian asset manager Access Capital has teamed up with CityView, a real estate fund manager founded by former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Henry Cisneros, to invest in US PPPs and subordinated municipal debt.

AE Capital Advisers, the US-subsidiary of Australian asset manager Access Capital Advisers, has teamed up with urban real estate investor CityView to establish a joint venture that will target the urban US infrastructure sector.

The joint venture, which is called CVAE, will focus on equity investments in public-private partnerships and direct investments in subordinated debt issued for municipal projects, according to a statement.  CVAE will look for “critical core” infrastructure projects in North American urban centers as well as assets “at the lower end of the risk spectrum”. 

Cityview co-founder and Vice-Chairman Victor Miramontes will manage CVAE together with Andrew Cunanan, manager of AE Capital Advisers.

Henry Cisneros

CityView founder and Executive Chairman Henry Cisneros served as the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development in the Clinton administration. Cityview’s three funds have invested in 20 US metropolitan areas, and its largest investors include the California Public Employees' Retirement System, the Los Angeles City Employees' Retirement System, the Los Angeles County Employees Retirement Association, and Los Angeles Fire and Police Pensions, according to Cityview’s website.

Access said it expected pension fund investments in urban infrastructure to grow in response to the US’ growing needs.

“The continued need for investment in infrastructure coupled with strained budgets and restricted borrowing capabilities of state and local governments and authorities across the United States means innovative approaches for funding infrastructure need to be found,” David Chessell, chairman of Access Capital Advisers, AE Capital Advisers' parent company, said in a statement. 

Chessell added that the venture would provide “improved global reach” to Access’ Australian clients. 

Earlier this year, AE Capital Advisors and CityView represented an unidentified Australian pension in a $45 million purchase of Build America Bonds, the taxable municipal bonds introduced in the 2009 stimulus bill. The bonds were used to finance the expansion of a toll road in Austin, Texas. 

Access Capital Advisers has more than 70 staff members in the US, the UK and Australia. According to its website, it is the seventh largest infrastructure manager in the world.

CVAE, the joint venture, will have offices in New York City, Los Angeles and San Antonio.