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Europe-Based vs. North America-Based Infrastructure Fund Managers - August 2012

by Emma Davis

  • 22 Aug 2012
  • INF

North America and Europe are significant bases of activity for the private infrastructure asset class. Preqin currently tracks 91 unlisted infrastructure fund managers located in North America and a further 127 Europe-based firms. Managers located in both regions have raised a similar number of funds, although North America-based firms have raised a significantly higher level of capital.

North America-based fund managers have closed 103 unlisted infrastructure funds raising an aggregate $105bn. In comparison, Europe-based fund managers have closed 121 unlisted infrastructure funds and raised an aggregate $54bn. There are currently 36 funds on the road managed by North America-based firms seeking a further $24bn, and 66 funds in market managed by Europe-based fund managers seeking $40bn.

The UK is the most prominent base for Europe-based infrastructure fund managers, representing 25% of the sample. France and Switzerland are other key European countries, acting a base for 5% of European and North American fund managers respectively. The US is home to 33% of all Europe and North America-based infrastructure fund managers, the highest proportion for any single country.

Both North America and Europe-based infrastructure fund managers favour a variety of fund strategies, although the majority have a preference for raising primary equity funds – 85% of North America-based managers and 87% of Europe-based firms raise primary funds. Twelve percent of North America-based fund managers raise debt/mezzanine infrastructure funds, compared to 9% of Europe-based fund managers, and 11% of North America-based firms raise fund of funds vehicles as opposed to 9% of Europe-based fund managers which favour this strategy.

In terms of industry, both Europe-based and North America-based fund managers predominantly target economic infrastructure industries, with a particular preference for energy-related sectors. However, North America-based fund managers tend to invest more heavily in core energy (74%) as opposed to renewable energy (56%), while Europe-based firms hold a preference for renewable energy (61%) over core energy (41%). Transportation, utilities, and waste management remain key industries for Europe and North America-based fund managers, as well as social sectors.

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