North America-Based Infrastructure Investors – September 2014

by Rebecca Gibney

  • 17 Sep 2014
  • INF

Preqin’s Infrastructure Online service currently tracks 876 North America-based investors in the infrastructure asset class, representing 42% of all investors in infrastructure tracked by the service. Of the investor pool, 86% are located in the US, while the remaining 14% are located in Canada and Bermuda. These 876 investors collectively manage $19tn in assets, with an average allocation of $370mn to the infrastructure asset class.

Public pension funds account for the largest proportion of investors located in North America, at 21%, closely followed by private sector pension funds (20%). Foundations and endowment plans each account for 15% of these investors, followed by insurance companies (6%) and wealth managers (3%).

In terms of regional preferences for investments, 77% of North America-based investors favour domestic infrastructure investments, reflecting the rise of infrastructure opportunities within this region. Thirty-three percent of North America-based investors will seek opportunities within Europe and 43% are open to investments on a global basis, demonstrating infrastructure investors’ geographically diversified approach to investment.

Within the infrastructure assets class, the main route to market for North America-based investors is through unlisted fund commitments (91%), which compares to 15% that will consider direct investment opportunities and 14% that seek to invest in listed funds. In addition, North America-based investors are generally open to investments across all project stages, with 72% targeting brownfield investments, followed closely by secondary stage (70%) and greenfield projects (62%).

Currently, the top North America-based investor in infrastructure by allocation to the asset class is the Canadian public pension fund, Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS), with an allocation of $13.318bn to the asset class. The investor exclusively invests in infrastructure through direct investments, remaining exposed to a diverse range of industries and project stages. In the US, the top investor in infrastructure by allocation is California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS), with a current allocation to the asset class of $3.727bn. Also a public pension fund, CalPERS seeks infrastructure investment opportunities through both unlisted funds and direct investments, and will continue to increase its exposure to the asset class over the coming 12 months.

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