Spain’s MAPFRE begins infra journey with new €200m Macquarie fund

The insurer has anchored the fund with €50m and identified the first four investments.

Spanish insurance group MAPFRE has injected €50 million into a new €200 million fund in partnership with Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets designed specifically for Spanish investors.

MAPFRE, which has about €65 billion in assets under management, is making its first inroads into infrastructure investment via the fund, which will be managed by independent financial firm Abante and invested in Macquarie funds and investments. Further capital will be sourced from other Spanish investors.

Eduardo Ripollés, director of institutional sales at MAPFRE, told Infrastructure Investor that the first four investments have been agreed and will comprise commitments to the second series of Macquarie’s Super Core Infrastructure Fund, the GIG Renewable Energy Fund 2, a global fund of funds managed by the Australian firm and a co-investment vehicle that will invest directly in assets alongside Macquarie. Ripollés added that conversations with Macquarie have been ongoing for about six months but that MAPFRE has been looking for such a partnership for about three years.

“We didn’t find the perfect partner until we found Macquarie,” he said. “We were not comfortable with the other proposals we received. We chose Macquarie for its reputation, credibility and ambition. They clearly understand what we need and know, by having MAPFRE as an anchor investor, it gives them credibility coming into the market.”

While MAPFRE has had limited exposure to the asset class through renewables investments by funds it has committed to, it wanted greater diversification than investing in only one sub-sector.

“We wanted to avoid any types of risks in our investments and to be as global as possible. We did not want to just invest in a renewable energy fund,” Ripollés said.

Ripollés added that MAPFRE’s focus is on yield, and MAPFRE Infraestructuras, as the fund is known, is offering an annual yield of 7 percent. The partnership follows a similar fund established in 2018 with GLL Real Estate Partners, a manager owned by Macquarie.

The Spanish insurer has been working towards diversifying its portfolio and increasing its exposure to alternative investments. It entered into a strategic alliance with Abante last September to create a platform providing financial advice and product distribution in the Spanish market. Within the context of that alliance, MAPFRE and Abante partnered with Altamar Private Equity and launched a fund of funds in June, marking MAPFRE’s debut in private equity.

MAPFRE Private Equity, to which the insurer has committed €250 million “will bring together the existing private equity investments of all the companies in the group”, MAPFRE said at the time.

That fund will be managed by Abante, while Altamar Private Equity will serve as investment advisor.