Unlisted infrastructure funds can provide several benefits to investors: as well as portfolio diversification, they offer the potential for a reliable income stream with low correlation to other asset classes. As shown in the Preqin Quarterly Update: Infrastructure, Q2 2017, the PrEQIn Infrastructure Index has returned higher than the PrEQIn All Private Equity Index in the period since December 2007 (196.5 index points compared to 189.6 respectively) and significantly outperformed the S&P Global Infrastructure Index, which reached just 121.5. At the fund level, investors can view the net IRR to assess the performance of funds invested in.
Preqin’s Infrastructure Online tracks net-to-LP performance data for 237 named unlisted infrastructure funds. The table below shows the 10 best performing unlisted infrastructure funds by internal rate of return (IRR), net of fees. To determine the best performing funds, the list has been restricted to vehicles that have at least 50% committed capital called up. Funds with vintage years 2015-2017 are excluded because their IRRs mainly reflect capital drawdowns, and therefore are not meaningful.
Aravis Energy I, a 2009 vintage fund that invested in renewable energy assets, is the top performing unlisted infrastructure fund in the table, having achieved the highest IRR of 448.0% before its liquidation in 2015. The fund focused on greenfield wind and solar opportunities within the EU, concentrating on Italy and Spain.
North America-focused funds account for six of the top 10 funds in the league table, while just three of the remaining vehicles are Europe focused, and only one fund in the table, Japan Solar Fund, invests outside these regions. Managed by Equis Funds Group, the vintage 2014 vehicle targets Japanese greenfield infrastructure assets in the solar energy sector. It has generated the second highest net IRR at 56.0% as at September 2016, and is the best performing active fund in the table.