FEBRUARY 2018

How asset management companies can contribute to the world of major projects

A financial topic is at the core of the February 2018 issue of Infrastructure Channel. That large pension funds or mutual funds invest in major works, is nothing new. How they actually choose their targets, what are the market risks they perceive in the current conjuncture and whether they are integrating Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) criteria in their strategies is not a given.

In the first and second articles Mauro Meggiolaro collects the views of two among the most solid Real Assets Managers: Allianz Capital Partners and Blackrock Infrastructure Investment Group.

Allianz’s Managing Director Christoph Holzer explains that there’s a growing need for new infrastructure in emerging markets as well as in developed countries and that the contribution of private capital will be essential due to increasingly tight public budgets and often the inability of governments to manage very complex projects over a long period of time. Among the key factors for Allianz’s investments in the sector, are the focus on physical assets that represent essential services for local communities and the compliance with ESG criteria.

Blackrock’s Head of the Product Strategist Team Alan Synnott believes that infrastructure investments present a compelling opportunity. They are high on the agenda for many powerful economies globally and as a result, governments are increasingly reliant on institutional equity and debt capital from the private sector. ESG is now a core part of the investment process across Blackrock’s real assets strategies, be it focusing on renewable power to offset global greenhouse gas emissions or on social housing, hospitals and schools which deliver a positive impact to the communities they serve.

In the third and last contribution, Atlantia’s Chief Financial Officer Giancarlo Guenzi describes what matters when planning an infrastructure investment. It will become increasingly difficult to deliver gigantic infrastructure projects due to the often lengthy authorisation processes. Thus works will have to be “frugal” and easier to finance, boost the capacity of the country’s strategic hubs, relieve congestion on the busiest routes, while providing links to the major international sea and land-based corridors. Without forgetting that the implementation of new technologies and IT applications will be key.

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Financial framework
Financing for infrastructure works is increasingly being provided by private investors and is one way to make up for the lack of public funding. Project financing and works