Infrastructure debt fundraising has boomed since PDI affiliate title Infrastructure Investor‘s inaugural top 10 ranking was compiled in 2019. The list then expanded to 15 as capital funding surpassed $80 billion, and in 2021 another five spots were added as leading managers broke the $105 billion mark.
The asset class has continued to build on this strong performance and in 2022, the ranking has once more been expanded, this time featuring the top 30 most prolific fundraisers, which have amassed over $139 billion. Combined, the extended list raised $34 billion more than last year’s total. And if there were any nagging doubts about appetite for infrastructure debt, the top 20 firms raised at least $20 billion more than the equivalent number of firms last year.
At the very top of the tree, leading players last year needed to raise at least $3.4 billion to break into the top 10. This has since grown to $4.4 billion. Last year, the top 20 firms also needed to raise at least $1.2 billion to make the cut, but this has now increased to a minimum of $1.98 billion.
However, the addition of 10 new positions in the ranking has not dramatically changed the geographic make-up of GPs. Last year, European-based firms dominated the top 20 list, with only five North American and three Australian GPs bucking the trend. In 2022, one Japanese firm made the list and Australian GPs grew to four, but European fundraisers still made up the bulk with 18 of the 30 firms profiled.
BlackRock played second fiddle to AXA IM last year, but in 2022 returned to the top spot. The extended top 30 ranking also saw 10 new names, with Barings a notable addition. The fund manager climbed into the top 10 despite not charting the previous two years.
The list of top infrastructure equity fundraisers also doubled in our II 100 ranking. Interestingly, 21 of the firms profiled in the II Debt 30 did not feature in the top 100 infrastructure equity fundraisers, showcasing the difference in strategy for infra funds. Nevertheless, both lists reflect the strong appeal of infrastructure as an asset class. Based on the pace of growth over the past few years, who knows what the list size could look like next year.
The 2022 II Debt ranking is based on the amount of direct infrastructure debt investment capital raised by firms between 1 January 2016 and 31 August 2021.
Where two firms have raised the same amount of capital over this time period, the higher II Debt ranking rank goes to the firm with the largest active pool of capital raised since 2016 (ie, the biggest single fund). If there is still a ‘tie’ after taking into account the size of a single fund, we give greater weight to the firm that has raised the most capital within the past one or two years.
We give highest priority to information that we receive from or confirm with the infrastructure managers themselves. When firms confirm details, we seek to ‘trust but verify’. Some details simply cannot be verified by us, and in these cases we defer to the honour system. In order to encourage co-operation from infrastructure firms that might make the II Debt ranking, we do not disclose which firms have aided us on background and which have not. Lacking confirmation of details from the firms themselves, we seek to corroborate information using firms’ websites, press releases, limited partner disclosures, etc.
- Limited partnerships
- Open-ended vehicles (capital must be raised within the specified dates)
- Co-investment funds/separate accounts capital raised by infrastructure managers that happen to be publicly traded
- Seed capital and GP commitment
- Debt strategies
- Mezzanine funds
- Financing of existing assets (brownfield), development-phase assets (greenfield) or a mix of both
What does not count?
- Expected capital commitments
- Public funds
- Contributions from sponsoring entities
- Capital raised for funds of funds
- Capital raised for infrastructure funds that seek to own assets for a period of time
- Secondaries vehicles
- Real estate funds
- Private equity funds
- Equity funds: core, core-plus, value-add, opportunistic
- Hedge funds
- Capital raised on a deal-by-deal basis
- PIPE investments