Infrastructure is frequently described as a safe and reliable form of investment (and who are we to question that?), so we think it unlikely that too many investors will be saying a quiet prayer as they write out their cheques to fund managers. But there is one organisation more likely to do so than others.
It was recently revealed that the Church of England’s investment fund – which grew a very healthy 11 percent last year (praise be) – has made its first foray into infrastructure with a $50 million allocation to a US energy manager targeting predominantly credit market investments. The fund added that it would continue to look at other opportunities to invest in infrastructure.
One thought that occurs to us is that for the Church, which encourages financial contributions from its congregations through the use of collection plates, fundraising must be an interesting form of role reversal.
But perhaps an even more intriguing consideration is how the august institution would react to under-performance? Would it demonstrate the forgiveness with which it is associated, being only too happy to forgive those who – through their rash investment decisions – have sinned against us?
Or would it instead adopt a rather more punitive Old Testament-type stance? An IRR for an IRR and a tooth for a tooth…