The II 50 countdown
A closer look at which managers made the cut (and how they got there)
It probably won’t come as any surprise to find that, in the strongest fundraising year on record, our ranking of the world’s infrastructure managers is the largest it’s ever been, growing by approximately 23 percent to a whopping $388 billion.
That’s an impressive jump, but it gets even more impressive when we compare this year’s II 50 with 2016’s edition – the first year we expanded our ranking to 50 firms. In the space of just two years, fundraising in the II 50 grew by more than $100 billion.
Compared with last year’s edition, you now need a minimum of $1.98 billion to get into our ranking (versus $1.34 billion in 2017) and, if you’re hoping to unseat Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets from the top spot – a position it’s been forcefully holding on to since 2010 – you need to raise a war chest of $55.53 billion.
That won’t be easy. MIRA, thanks to its globetrotting menu of regional funds, now accounts for 14.4 percent of the entire ranking, and has amassed more than twice the $27.7 billion raised by Brookfield Asset Management, which sits at number two – no mean feat.
Mirroring the ongoing concentration in the industry, the top five managers in the ranking account for about 38 percent of the total amount raised – the same proportion as last year. The only difference from 2017 is that KKR has muscled its way into this rarefied club, jumping five spots after closing its (and the year’s) largest fund on $7.4 billion.
Speaking of upstarts, Blackstone, thanks to a $5 billion first close for its $40 billion open-ended infrastructure fund, makes an appearance at number 24, while newbie Digital Colony lands at number 39 with its new digital infrastructure fund.
Digital Colony is in a unique position with its sole focus on the burgeoning data centre and telecoms market, but the growing number of renewables-dedicated managers on the II 50 hints at growing segmentation as the asset class matures and expands. Expect future editions of this ranking to feature more single-sector managers.
As usual, there are a plethora of stories contained in the II 50, but the overarching message is one of impressive growth for what is – despite everything – a fairly new asset class. A common saying among many infrastructure practitioners is that the asset class will eventually end up being as big as real estate. Looking at 2018’s ranking, that future looks more achievable with each passing year.