If ‘numbers speak louder than words’ was a saying, it would easily apply to our 2022 Infrastructure Investor 100 ranking (scroll down for full list). It is essentially a testament to the numerous trends in the infrastructure space we’ve been seeing and writing about for at least the past year, beginning with an increasing number of investors expressing their intention to allocate more to the asset class.
That LPs followed through with those plans was evident in our H1 fundraising report, which showed that infrastructure fundraising had reached $112.7 billion in the first six months of this year, representing 75 percent of 2021’s $150.1 billion tally. It’s been confirmed once again with the largest 100 infrastructure equity GPs raising a total of $950.5 billion between 1 January 2017 and 31 August 2022.
Another trend you will have read much about is a return to core, with many of the marquee names on the II 100 launching vehicles dedicated to the strategy. Examples include Macquarie – as of August, it had raised $3 billion for its Global Infrastructure Fund – Stonepeak and DigitalBridge.
While changes among the top 10 firms have not been dramatic, they underscore yet another trend that has gained momentum in the past two years – a growing focus on energy transition and digital infrastructure. In the first instance, there is Brookfield Asset Management. While it only moved up one place, it posted the largest increase in funds raised, amassing $24.8 billion more than last year – $15 billion of which came from its Global Transition Fund.
Digital infrastructure’s strong pulling power is also apparent in DigitalBridge’s rise to number 10 from number 15, making the Boca Raton, Florida-based firm the first specialist infrastructure fund manager to reach the top 10 – no small feat.
The Asia-Pacific region’s appeal for infrastructure capital has also had an impact on the ranking. While KKR has remained in fourth place, it had the second-largest increase in funds raised – $15.1 billion – thanks in part to its APAC fund series. After closing its debut KKR Asia-Pacific Infrastructure Investors fund on $3.9 billion in January 2021, the New York-based firm, as of August, had already raised more than $4 billion for the second vehicle in the series.
It seems then that KKR is well placed to wrestle back the distinction of having the largest APAC-focused fund from Macquarie Asset Management, which closed its third APAC fund on more than $4.2 billion in May. The other contributor to KKR’s increase? Its fourth flagship fund, which closed on $17 billion in March and which, at the time of writing, was still the largest infrastructure fund to close this year.
As the numbers grow, so too does the barrier to entry into the II 100. Last year, that minimum was set at $856 million by Arroyo Energy Investment Partners. This year, Omnes Capital landed at 100 with a total of $1.2 billion, just $7.2 million more than it had last year when it placed 85th.
In a few months’ time we’ll know whether 2022 will be another record-breaker for infrastructure fundraising, though sources tell us that capital raising in the second half of this year has slowed given the war in Ukraine, high inflation and rising interest rates. While that may be true, we think it’s a safe bet that next year’s II 100 total will break the $1 trillion threshold – a milestone we look forward to celebrating.
The 2022 II 100 ranking is based on the amount of infrastructure direct investment capital raised by firms between 1 January 2017 and 31 August 2022.
The definition of infrastructure investing, for the purposes of the II 100, means committing equity capital toward tangible, physical assets, whether existing (brownfield) or development-phase (greenfield) that are expected to exhibit stable, predictable cashflows over a long-term investment horizon.
The investors need not seek to own the assets in perpetuity and may exit them, realising a capital gain and generating an internal rate of return for themselves or their end-investors. However, they must primarily dedicate their investment programmes towards the pursuit of assets and projects that exhibit cashflow stability and predictability, and cannot be counted if they have made large one-off investments in the asset class on an opportunistic basis. There will certainly be grey areas with regard to these parameters, but Infrastructure Investor will take pains to ensure that the capital counted for the purposes of the ranking will fall within our definition of infrastructure to the furthest extent possible.
This means capital definitively committed to an infrastructure direct investment programme. In the case of a fundraising, it means the fund has had a final or official interim close after 1 January, 2017. The full amount of a fund counts if it has a close after this date. The full amount of an interim close (a real one, not a ‘soft-circle’) that has occurred recently, even if no official announcement has been made, also counts. We also count capital raised through co-investment vehicles. We only count vehicles for which the manager has full discretion over investment decisions; all capital must be committed by institutional investors.
• Limited partnerships
• Open-end vehicles (capital must be raised within the specified dates)
• Co-investment funds
• Separate accounts
• Capital raised by infrastructure managers that happen to be publicly traded
• Seed capital and GP commitment
• Existing assets (brownfield), development-phase assets (greenfield) or a mix of both
What does not count?
• Expected capital commitments
• Contributions from sponsoring entities
• Capital raised for funds of funds