In advance of the event, Delano spoke with Laurianne Delaunay, asset management director at Marguerite. She speaks on the “Putting capital to work in infrastructure” panel, Wednesday 27 November at 3:50pm.
Aaron Grunwald: What do you want the audience to get most from the “Putting capital to work in infrastructure” panel?
Laurianne Delaunay: “It is worth it.” Investing in infrastructure is a powerful long-term investment. The industry is booming and investors should jump on the bandwagon before they are left too far behind.
There is clear transformation of infrastructure ownership around the world. Investment opportunities are there for all type of investors, whether they are institutionals, pension funds, family offices or retail investors.
How could European infrastructure funds be made more attractive and draw in bigger volumes?
We are already seeing a positive trend in the infrastructure funds. Investors’ commitments are higher every year and the number of investors are bigger. There is, however, still room for growth.
Over the past few years, the industry demonstrated strong performance. Good historical data encourage new market entrants to seek long-term stable returns.
In addition, the European regulation sets the tones and gives a positive message to retail investors to invest in such assets. The launch of the ELTIF is one of the examples.
Investors’ mindset is also involving. More and more professional investors are willing to make a difference and choose responsible assets. The infrastructure environment, along with governments and local communities, needs private capital.
Finally, I believe that the infrastructure funds could drag more capital from the pension funds or insurance companies. Most of them are investing directly into those assets, but often through minority stake. Even though they have strict regulations, everyone could benefit from a better collaboration with the investments funds industry.
From your point of view, what makes an infrastructure fund successfully?
Success is relative. Performance expectations may vary among investors. But 2 key elements are crucial to have a win. First, the diversity of the projects: the fund should mix locations, sectors and business models. Sensitivities to market environment are better balanced. Second, the know-how of the asset team: The asset management team should be involved, daily and deeply, in the projects management and commit to support high quality infrastructure management. This engagement should remain throughout the economic cycle of the investments.
Aside from your own talk at the Alfi event, which speech or panel are you most looking forward to hearing, and why?
Tax and regulation, given the current changes in the tax environment and its impact on the deal structuring [editor’s note: Wednesday 27 November at 2:50pm]. Risk management is another topic I am interesting in [editor’s note: Wednesday 27 November at 2:10pm]. Investors are much more demanding in this area.