My top five for Berlin

It’s Global Summit time again, as more than 2,000 attendees get ready to descend on the Hilton Berlin.

This is Bruno Alves, senior editor of Infrastructure Investor, and today’s letter is about our Global Summit.

The last time I wrote one of these, in 2017, our then freshly rebranded Global Summit had just passed its own special milestone: it had crossed the 1,000-attendee barrier, gathering some 250 institutional investors from across the globe representing north of $500 billion of infrastructure capital.

Fast forward two years and we are gearing up to head to Berlin once again for our 2019 Global Summit. Except this time, there’ll be more than 2,000 attendees from 18-21 March, with 500-plus institutional investors representing over $1 trillion of infrastructure capital (really, someone get them insured, please).

It’s a remarkable growth story, and one that mirrors the asset class’s extraordinary development. As always, seeing is believing, so if you want to get a good sense of the sheer scale and star power on offer at the industry’s only must-attend event, take a look at some of the videos we shot on the ground. After all, a video’s worth 1,000 words.

Without further ado, then, here are the five moments I am looking forward to the most next week:

  1. Jim Yong Kim (18 March)

It’s not every day you get to interview a former World Bank president, so we’re naturally excited at the prospect of hearing Jim Yong Kim’s thoughts on how to plug the emerging market infrastructure deficit and avoid the worst of climate change – two issues he was passionate about during his tenure at the bank. Having joined GIP after concluding he could make a greater impact from within the private sector, we’re keen to find out more about the role he envisages for private capital in helping to solve some of these pressing issues.

  1. Sam Pollock and Guthrie Stewart (19 March)

“One of the world’s largest infrastructure managers and a blue-chip global investor walk into a bar…” That is the premise behind our fireside chat between Pollock, the head of infrastructure at Brookfield, and Stewart, global head of private investments for PSP Investments – minus the bar, of course. Don’t miss your chance to hear about Brookfield’s ‘contrarian’ approach to infrastructure investing and the challenges and opportunities that come with being able to write large equity cheques.

  1. Garrett Reisman (19 March)

Have you ever walked in space? We didn’t think so. But Garrett Reisman has. If that alone isn’t enough to make you want to hear what he has to say, consider this: the former NASA astronaut has also spent considerable time at Elon Musk’s Space X, where he serves as a senior advisor. That means he has unprecedented knowledge of large-scale, high-risk projects on both the public and private sides. For a taste of what he has to say, check out our recent interview with Reisman here.

  1. Digital infrastructure (21 March)

It’s the buzziest of infrastructure’s sub-sectors these days, but digital infrastructure is no hype story. As we’ve written before, the opportunities on offer here could rival the deal flow being generated by the ongoing decarbonisation of the planet. So, of all the streams (pun intended) on offer on 21 March, this is the one we are looking forward to the most (don’t worry Energy Transition and Debt, we’re still plenty interested in you too).

  1. Being there

OK, this one is a bit of a cheat, but if you’ve ever been to our Global Summit, you’ll know there’s no bigger thrill than spending a week listening to and networking with the asset class’s movers and shakers. There really isn’t any other event in the industry that comes close to it, and that’s down to you and your continued support for it and for Infrastructure Investor. Never been there? Not really sure what you’re waiting for…

See you all next week.

Write to the author at P.S. Thank you to our environmental partner, Aquila Capital, for making this truly global event climate-neutral. Click here to find out how.