Big beasts

No one agrees on the most influential investors in global infrastructure, but there are many strong contenders. Here’s our pick, after asking around the industry.

Patience, with scale

Graeme Bevans, Vice President, Infrastructure, CPP Investment Board, Toronto

Bevans, a native of Tasmania who most recently served as head of infrastructure for Industry Funds Management in Melbourne, moved to Toronto to lead Canada PensionPlan’s new infrastructure programme, which has ambitions to be among the largest andlongest-term investors in the asset class (see p.18). Bevans understands better than anyonethe often slow, excruciating and politically fraught process of privatising public infrastructure. He stayed on top of developments in Washington State as the Puget Energy and Puget Sound Energy deal was first opposed by the state public counsel, and then approved by two of the three Washington Utilities and Transportation committee members. The $7.4billion deal was completed in February, and Bevans sits on the boards of both companies, his pension having participated in the platform to the tune of nearly $1 billion.

Citi’s dynamic duo

Felicity Gates and Juan Bejar, Co-heads, Citi Infrastructure Investors, New York, London, Toronto

Two of the biggest infrastructure deals in recent memory on two different continents – one in North America, one in Europe– were led by two people at one firm. Felicity Gates and Juan Bejar are CII’s dynamic co-heads who seem to push the industry forward with every deal they do. In New York, Gates spearheaded Citi’s successful $2.5 billion bid for Chicago’s Midway Airport – the largest airport privatisation in US history and a deal that could crack the industry open to other investors. In London, Bejar spearheaded CII’s buyout of toll road developer and operator Itinere Infraestructuras in a €7.9 billion deal that could set the standard for how to marry closed-ended funds and toll road developers: buy only the mature assets. And all this was before they landed the $12.8 billion winning bid for the Pennsylvania Turnpike. The deal ultimately failed, but it serves as more proof that Gates and Bejar are a force to be reckoned with.

Macquarie’s puppetmaster

Michael Carapiet, Global Head, Macquarie Capital, Sydney, Australia

If you want to get a deal done at Macquarie, the world’s largest manager of infrastructure assets, sooner or later you will have to face down Michael Carapiet – more commonly known as Caras. The scrappy Australian, known for driving a hard bargain (“the definition of a relationship is when money exchanges hands”), last year succeeded Nicholas Moore as the head of Macquarie’s investment banking arm, Macquarie Capital, after the latter got catapulted to the CEO spot at Macquarie. A veteran of Macquarie for over 20years, he has sat on the boards of an alphabet soup of Macquarie-managed infrastructure funds, among them MIG, MAp and MCIG, just to name a few. Insiders say few deals escape his glance, so whether Macquarie is buying an airport in Sydney or a keg logistics business in the US, chances are that it will have Caras’ fingerprints on it.

On behalf of CalPERS

Paul Fisher, President, CenterPoint Properties, Oakbrook, Illinois

Fisher, along with CEO Michael Mullen, is at the helm of a firm that clearly has ambitions to become a major logistics platform. CenterPoint is owned by a subsidiary of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System called CalEast Global Logistics. LaSalleInvestment Management advises CalEast, and is also an investor in CenterPoint. Last month, CenterPoint proposed a $9 billion partnership with the Port of Virginia, structured as a 60-year concession. At press time the Virginia Secretary of Transportation had yet to recommend the proposal to the port authority. Fisher made it clear in a statement that his firm had access to significant financial resources, as well as todevelopment prowess: “A modern port, with great inland connectivity, is what the market demands. Our partnership with the Commonwealth can provide it. ”Fisher joined CenterPoint in 1991 after a career in commercial banking.

A bit camera shy

Chris Koski, Global head of infrastructure, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority

Chris Koski was personally lured away from the Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board by the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority’s(ADIA) executive director Al-Hajeri in May 2007 and told to build the infrastructure arm of one of the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds – estimated at between $500 billion (€316.5 billion) and $900 billion. Koski, a financial analyst, hired 12 people to help him run the show and has since developed a reputation as one of the key direct investors into globalinfrastructure.  Koski’s relatively new infrastructure team is already widely talked of despite ADIA’s reputation for being “a bit camera shy”, according to one GP.

The one to trust

Peter Moon, Chief investment officer, University Superannuation Scheme, UK

The UK’s University Superannuation Scheme’s allocation to private equity has increased to 20 percent from around 7 percent in the last couple of years. It is a key player within infrastructure investing and the second largest UK pension with around£22 billion under management. “USS has got a lot of money, has put a lot of money into UK infrastructure, and is influential because fund managers have a lot of trust init,” one fund manager remarked. USS has recently been struck a blow with the news that its chief investment officer Peter Moon will retire in early 2010. Moon’s influence on the pension has spanned 17 years, since he was hired 1992.

The private equity face of infrastructure

Adebayo Ogunlesi, Chairman and Managing Director, Global Infrastructure Partners

Ogunlesi, more commonly known as Bayo, holds a record that many in the private equity world would envy: the largest first-time fundraise for an independent fund manager. Even more impressive is the fact that he raised GIP’s $5.64 billion war chest with a focus on an emerging asset class that was just beginning to be understood by investors. People familiar with the native Nigerian credit the success to his laser-eyed focus on bringing operational efficiencies to infrastructure assets. He is by far the loudest proponent of this strategy – a mainstay of the private equity sphere that is fast becoming mainstream in the infrastructure asset class, thanks in large part to his advocacy. His lean, mean management of London’s City Airport, which GIP bought in concert with an AIG affiliate in 2006 for £770 million, is the textbook example of this growing trend.

Dutch trader

Niels Oostenburg, Head of alternatives, MN Services, The Netherlands

Netherlands-based investment manager and pension fund MN Services is new to infrastructure investing, but it has made a splash nonetheless since it first dipped its toe into the asset class in early 2007.Head of alternatives Niels Oostenburg joined the three person alternatives team in 2002. Since then he has helped grow the team to 13 Dutch nationals who now invest in private equity, infrastructure, commodities, hedge funds, global tactical asset allocation and special investments. Infrastructure now has its own dedicated team of five, typically investing via funds in gas, utilities and water distribution. Oostenburg’s influence is clear: before his arrival MN’s alternatives were limited to hedge funds and private equity. It now has around €55 billion under management and allocates around 23 percent to alternatives.

Government principal

Ang Eng Seng, Global Head, Infrastructure, GIC, Singapore

The Government of Singapore Investment Corporation has been a major backer of infrastructure assets and companies, and Ang Eng Seng is GIC’s point man in this regard. Before joining the roughly $300 billion sovereign wealth fund in 1994, Ang was Director of the Auditor-General’s Office in Singapore. GIC owns stakes in India’s Infrastructure Development Finance Company, BAA and Associated British Ports, where Ang serves as a board member. Ang has keep expertise in China – from 1999 to 2003 he was head of GIC’s Greater China Team. With a view on the East and West, as well as on existing and greenfield infrastructure, Ang and team are poised to position themselves as toll-takers in the economic growth around the world.

Passionate about infrastructure

Mark Weisdorf, Managing Director and Chief Investment Officer, JPMorgan Asset Management Infrastructure Investments Group, New York

Weisdorf is on record as having predicted that within 20 years, the infrastructure asset class could be larger than the real estate asset class. Weisdorf clearly intends to have a major market share in this vast industry. He joined JPMorgan in 2006 from the CPP Investment Board, where he had been pondering the future role of infrastructure in the institutional investment portfolio. JPMorgan’s Infrastructure Investments Group is already well on its way toward capturing a sizeable chunk of that allocation. On behalf of clients the firm has completed a string of acquisitions in the US and the UK. An affiliate, the Asian Infrastructure Group, is halfway toward raising a $1.5 billion debut fund. Weisdorf is an ideal advocate for infrastructure investment, with his breadth of knowledge and infectious enthusiasm.