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The new Era of infrastructure investing

Authors
  • Clark, Gordon L
  • Monk, Ashby HB1
  • Orr, Ryan
  • Scott, William
  • 1 Collaboratory for Research on Global Projects, Yang & Yamazaki Energy & Environment (Y2E2) Bldg, 473 Via Ortega, Suite 242, Stanford, CA, 94305–4020, USA , Stanford (United States)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Pensions: An International Journal
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan UK
Publication Date
May 28, 2012
Volume
17
Issue
2
Pages
103–111
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1057/pm.2012.10
Source
Springer Nature
Keywords
License
Yellow

Abstract

Insurance companies, pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, endowments, foundations and family offices all have the ability to invest over inter-generational time spans. This is a unique competitive advantage in markets for long-term, illiquid assets, such as infrastructure. And yet, despite a clear affinity for this asset class, a variety of constraints are preventing these investors from taking up their theoretical place of prominence in the market for private infrastructure. Many of the constraints stem from the time-inconsistency and principal–agent problems embedded in the third-party fund management model. In a bid to circumvent these hurdles, some funds have launched in-house investment teams to invest in infrastructure directly. However, before these ‘in-sourcers’ can reap the rewards of such an approach, they have serious challenges to overcome. This article thus offers insights into how institutional investors can establish internal programmes. In particular, we provide specific details about the challenges of direct investment programmes and offer suggestions as to how these challenges can be overcome. However, although we conclude that direct investors are the future of infrastructure investing, fund managers will still have a crucial role to play in market development. This may warrant a re-conceptualization of intermediation, but, ultimately, this will lead to a revitalization of the asset class and, we expect, a new era of infrastructure investing.

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