Press Release – March 23, 2022
First Global Ranking of Infrastructure Investment Strategies
The 2022 Rankings are organised into four categories, Global Peers, Home Peers, Manager Peers, and Asset Owner Peers, each of which includes a top-ranked peer group style based on their 2021 risk-adjusted performance.
In a new report, “Infrastructure Strategy 2022. A Pivot to the Digital Frontier” Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and EDHECinfra provide a new perspective on the investment strategies and risk-adjusted performance of different groups of infrastructure investors.
Among the key findings of the report:
- North American Pensions Funds have the highest risk-adjusted returns in 2021 and are in fact the top ranked peer group. Other peer groups took more risk to achieve lower average returns, while Canadian investors are very close to the all-investor average. At the bottom of the risk-adjusted rankings, EU and UK pension funds take less risk but also achieve comparatively lower returns. As Frederic Blanc-Brude, Director of EDHECinfra, explains, “certain investors have gained exposure to different segments of the infrastructure universe over time and each segment has performed differently.”
- Oil and gas still pay. Although one third of the surveyed investors have expressed that they want to decrease their exposure to conventional power generation, after transport, the main beneficiary of the 2021 recovery, especially since wind levels were lower than usual, was gas and conventional power generation. Those peer groups that stayed more exposed to these sectors benefited while peer groups that have already mostly divested conventional power generation from their portfolios did not.
- Operational Value creation is paramount. While operational value creation has always been a paradigm for Value add-Infrastructure investors, also 90% of the Core and Core+ investors agree that the focus will shift towards more hands-on value creation work with their portfolio firms. As Wilhelm Schmundt, BCG’s Global Head of the Infrastructure Investors’ Sector sees it: “The steep increase in asset prices, dealing with inflation and the rise of factor prices as well as secular trends like energy transition and digitalisation have made operational value creation a must-have capability for asset managers across all industry sectors. Limited partners are putting increasing scrutiny on understanding how general partners are building their respective muscles.”
- A pivot to the digital frontier. As the analysis shows, all investors are planning to overinvest into digital infrastructure going forward. While this also entails data centers, towers, satellites and sub-sea connections, the appetite for broadband connectivity remains high. As Roman Friedrich explains: “The increasing desire for higher speeds and reliable online access will lead inevitably to a huge expansion of fiber optic installations in new networks in developing nations as well as in existing networks in more developed countries. Ultimately, fiber will replace legacy (primarily copper) infrastructure completely, particularly as 5G rolls out.”
The research note:
About Boston Consulting Group:
Boston Consulting Group partners with leaders in business and society to tackle their most important challenges and capture their greatest opportunities. BCG was the pioneer in business strategy when it was founded in 1963. Today, we work closely with clients to embrace a transformational approach aimed at benefiting all stakeholders—empowering organizations to grow, build sustainable competitive advantage, and drive positive societal impact.
Our diverse, global teams bring deep industry and functional expertise and a range of perspectives that question the status quo and spark change. BCG delivers solutions through leading-edge management consulting, technology and design, and corporate and digital ventures. We work in a uniquely collaborative model across the firm and throughout all levels of the client organization, fueled by the goal of helping our clients thrive and enabling them to make the world a better place.
About EDHEC Infrastructure Institute:
EDHECinfra® is a venture of EDHEC Business School and a provider of indices and analytics for the infrastructure investment universe. Because the majority of infrastructure assets are not publicly traded, there has traditionally been a vast knowledge gap when it comes to gauging the prices of these assets and their evolution. We are closing that gap with analytics and calculated indexes that already cover 25 countries representing an investable universe of 7,000 companies. We are based in Singapore and London. Visit edhec.infrastructure.institute.
EDHECinfra maintains the infraMetrics® platform: an online information system that gives access to key market indices including the infra300® and infra100® series. InfraMetrics also includes a wealth of valuation data and analytics, risk metrics, a fund strategy analysis tool providing robust performance quartiles for any segment, strategy or vintage, and peer group analyses allowing investors to compare themselves against comparable segments of the market.
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