Two UK infrastructure veterans have launched a new advisory firm focusing on infrastructure investment in emerging markets, according to a statement.
Stratus Infrastructure, launched by Bob Shekleton and Nigel Brindley, will tackle the skills gap that stops deals from being done in emerging markets infrastructure and help realise the potential of public-private partnerships (PPPs) to meet booming demand in these markets, it was claimed in a statement.
Developing countries typically do not have access to the skills needed to structure and negotiate viable PPP deals with international investors, which may lead to project delays, escalating costs and ultimately cancellation with the host countries earning a reputation for poor deliverability.
Shekleton and Brindley are veterans of the UK’s privately financed infrastructure sector, both having delivered and managed PPPs for 25 years, the statement said.
They have closed and managed investments worth $20 billion between them, including the London Docklands Light Railway, the first utility scale biomass plant in the United Arab Emirates and Exeter Schools, the first city-wide school replacement programme in the UK, it added.
“There is no shortage of skills and funding in the UK; the pipeline is the constraint. The reverse is true in developing markets. We are really excited about joining forces to create the end to end investment expertise these markets need,” said Shekleton.
Stratus is targeting markets with rapid economic growth, an overhanging demand for new infrastructure and a readiness to embrace PPP as a solution, according to the statement.
“We see great opportunities in ASEAN, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Latin America. Not only can we structure and close fundable deals but we know how to manage the regulatory, construction and operational risks that often put off investors,” said Brindley.