The Pipeline: Global Summit returns, Brookfield’s $18bn target, CalPERS adds UK infra bank adviser

Global Summit is back, Brookfield eyes $18 billion for second transition fund and BlackRock makes first deployment from fund. Welcome to The Pipeline, the start-the-week briefing for our valued subscribers only.

First look

It’s Global Summit time!
Infrastructure Investor’s Global Summit is kicking off today, a four-day extravaganza drawing in over 2,500 attendees, including more than 550 LPs, to the Berlin Hilton.

Monday kicks off the event in style, with three forums running concomitantly and focusing on Emerging Markets, ESG and Sustainability, and Digital Infrastructure. Then it’s on to the Global Investment Forum on Tuesday and Wednesday for a wide-ranging discussion on the asset class. Day four welcomes our Infrastructure Debt and Energy Transition forums to wrap things up. For those attending all four days, we salute you.

You can view the full agenda here.

Our editorial team will be out in force at the Summit and covering it through a special edition of The Pipeline, so watch your inboxes from Tuesday morning onwards.

New Brookfield Transition Fund eyes up to $20 billion
Brookfield Asset Management‘s second entry in its energy-transition franchise – Global Transition Fund II – is targeting $18 billion to $20 billion, according to sources close to the group. This would be more than the $15 billion raised by its predecessor, but a softening on the $20 billion, with a possible $25 billion hard-cap, quoted by Bloomberg in late February.

The new vehicle will look to invest in listed assets that can be taken private, transformed and decarbonised – and is notably positioning itself as a ‘transition’ fund rather than a ‘green’ fund.

Europe’s struggling hard-to-abate industrials – such as steel, aluminium and chemical companies – would likely be of interest to the new fund. The latter is launching on the back of not only a bid for Australia’s Origin Energy, but also the acquisition of a 51 percent share of American nuclear servicing giant Westinghouse Electric, putting it at the heart of Central and Eastern Europe’s move away from Russian-provided nuclear fuel and servicing.

Brookfield declined to comment.

Rinse and repeat for Morgan Stanley’s latest fund
Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners’ newest vehicle – North Haven Infrastructure Partners IV – looks set to continue the core-plus/value-add OECD-only strategy of its 2019-vintage Fund III and predecessors.

According to sources close to the fundraise, the new vehicle is an Article 8 fund and likely to target an amount similar to that of Fund III, which closed on $5.5 billion in December 2019 following a May 2019 launch.

The North Haven strategy so far has been to invest in assets and companies across a variety of sectors and with the potential to be transformed into core infrastructure assets.

Fund IV launched late in the summer of 2022, and known commitments so far total $150 million from Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation, Fubon Life Insurance and Taiwan Insurance.

Morgan Stanley declined to comment.

SVB loans in limbo
On to the topic of last week – Silicon Valley Bank, whose collapse has sent ripples across markets. Although its pure-play infrastructure activity was limited, it was an active player in clean technology. In fact, it was only in last January that SVB pledged to provide at least $5 billion by 2027 in loans, investments and other financing to support “sustainability efforts”, including renewable energy, sustainable transport, waste management and the circular economy.

A few months later, SVB led a $190 million debt financing facility for Pivot Energy, a portfolio company of ECP, to finance a portfolio of distributed generation solar projects. In June, it was the joint lead arranger for a $58.5 million financing package for Leeward Renewable Energy, a US developer owned by OMERS Infrastructure. Another significant SVB energy transition move was made in December, leading a $113 million debt facility for distributed solar developer Sunvest Solar.

Observers might say there’s enough market liquidity to pick up the loans, but at this rate, the real question is: who’s next?

Asper raises £220m for UK district heating
London-based Asper Investment Management is replicating the co-investment partnership model it has used in the past with Asper DHUK, a vehicle it recently closed on its hard-cap of £220 million (€251 million; $267 million).

An Article 9 fund, “Duke” as it is known, was set up to invest in 1Energy, “a greenfield platform focused on developing, building and operating sustainable heat networks in city centres across the UK,” Asper said in a statement. The fund will also acquire existing networks in mid-sized cities, with a view to decarbonising them.

“The energy efficiency and heating/cooling sector is coming into increasingly sharp focus,” Asper said in a statement. The firm did not respond to a request for comment.

1Energy has a proprietary pipeline of more than 10 projects. According to its website, it plans to invest more than £200 million in UK district energy projects over the next six years.


Last call to nominate the Women of Influence in Private Markets 2023
Nominations are about to close for the third annual Women of Influence in Private Markets list, which recognises trailblazing women in alternative assets. The deadline for nominations is end of Wednesday 22 March. Each year, PEI Group’s Women of Influence list celebrates 60 women working across private markets, including infrastructure, private equity, private debt, real estate and venture capital.

Among the 10 women named in the infrastructure category in last year’s Women of Influence list were Melanie Biessy, COO and senior partner at Antin Infrastructure Partners; Carolyn Pearce, managing director at Stonepeak; and Winnie Wutte, founding partner of Asterion Industrial Partners.

Submit your nomination here.


“It is for governments to make policy and enact legislation, and not for companies, including asset managers, to be the environmental police”

In his annual letter to investors, BlackRock CEO Larry Fink calls on governments, rather than asset managers, to set the environmental agenda

LP watch

UK Infra Bank advisor heads to CalPERS
There’s a new deputy in town – Sacramento, that is.

CalPERS has brought on Daniel Booth to serve as its new deputy chief investment officer for private markets, reporting to CIO Nicole Mussico.

To California from the north of England, Booth most recently served at the UK Infrastructure Bank as a senior adviser, with a particular focus on the British government’s net-zero agenda. Before that, he was CIO for Border to Coast Pension Partnership and the CIO of portfolio management and head of alternatives at Saudi Aramco.

Booth’s role is a newly created position, signalling a growth to come in the $442 billion pension’s private markets allocation. He will bring distinct infra experience to an LP whose portfolio recently includes a co-investment in Global Infrastructure Partners and KKR’s €16 billion deal for Vantage Towers in November.

CalPERS will be hoping the step from state lender to private markets titan is no towering effort.


BlackRock’s CFP makes first deal in Africa
BlackRock Alternatives has made its first private markets investment into Africa, backing the region’s largest wind farm, Kenya’s Lake Turkana Wind Power, via its Climate Finance Partnership fund.

The investment – which will see the fund acquire equity stakes in the wind farm from Finnfund, Vestas and the Investment Fund for Developing Countries – is the first for CFP, a blended finance vehicle managed by BlackRock. Launched by the firm in partnership with the governments of France, Germany and Japan, as well as US impact organisations, the fund attracted $673 million in commitments in 2021 and is expected to invest at least 25 percent of its AUM in Africa.

The project has a total capacity of 310MW, provides energy to Kenya’s national grid through a 20-year PPA with Kenya Power and represents roughly 12 percent of the country’s power generation.

The country is looking to have 100 percent of its electricity come from renewables by 2030. Certainly, it will need some more BlackRock funds.

Today’s letter was prepared by Zak BentleyBruno Alves, Kalliope Gourntis, Isabel O’Brien, Tharshini Ashokan and Anne-Louise Stranne Petersen also contributed