The EDHEC Infrastructure Institute-Singapore was officially launched on February 24th, 2016, in the presence of Jacqueline Loh, Deputy Managing Director of the Singapore Monetary Authority and Olivier Oger, the Dean of EDHEC Business School, and foundning corporate sponsors Natixis, LTIIA and GIH.
A new research unit of EDHEC Business School, the Infrastructure Institute (EDHECinfra) is dedicated to reducing the knowledge gap that has been preventing the trillion-dollar infrastructure investment industry from becoming a major asset class for institutional investors.
Public sector support
EDHECinfra is a multi-million dollar project supported by public and private institutions and by EDHEC Business School. It will produce equity and debt investment benchmarks, providing infrastructure investors with much sought-after risk-adjusted performance measurements. Such benchmarks are needed for asset allocation, prudential regulation and the design of new infrastructure investment solutions.
At the launch event, Jacqueline Loh declared: “MAS is glad to be a partner of EDHECinfra. We envisage that EDHECinfra’s benchmarks will enable institutional investors to better evaluate the return and risk characteristics of infrastructure debt and equity, and the appropriate allocation to infrastructure in their investment portfolios. By encouraging increased institutional investment, EDHECinfra will contribute to efforts to narrow the global infrastructure financing gap.”
This launch was also the opportunity to announce the endowment of two EDHECinfra Research Chairs, one by French corporate and investment bank NATIXIS on benchmarking private infrastructure debt and the other by the Long-Term Infrastructure Investors Association (LTIIA) on benchmarks of privately-held equity investments in infrastructure.
Global Head of Infrastructure and Projects at NATIXIS, Anne-Christine Champion said, “We welcome the creation of EDHECinfra, which is a good illustration of the progress made on research into infrastructure debt since the start of our research chair in 2012, for which we have recently renewed our support. Dr Blanc-Brude and his team have successfully established a reference centre for institutional investors, regulators and market players in the infrastructure debt asset class. We look forward to continuing our fruitful partnership with EDHECinfra to promote the transparency of this asset class.”
Thierry Deau, Chairman of LTIIA and CEO of Meridiam Infrastructure, said, “Following several years of fruitful cooperation with EDHEC, we welcome the establishment of EDHECinfra and look forward to continuing our work with the team there. The creation of a long term infrastructure benchmark will mark an important milestone for our members that include some of the most active infrastructure investors globally.”
EDHECinfra was also recently mandated by the Global Infrastructure Hub (GI Hub), an entity created by the G20 to support new research on infrastructure investment, to survey institutional investors’ perceptions and expectations of infrastructure as an asset class.
CEO of GI Hub, Chris Heathcote said, “The GI Hub is pleased to be partnering with EDHECinfra to provide important research. It will promote a better understanding of investor preferences and the pre-conditions that will free up the flows of capital within the infrastructure markets.”
Since 2012, EDHECinfra’s research team, which was previously housed within the EDHEC-Risk Institute (Europe’s leading institute for applied research in finance and investments), has been collecting and analysing data on infrastructure projects and developing methodologies to benchmark them. Data contributors to EDHECinfra’s database include multilateral and commercial banks, pension plans, insurers and sovereign wealth funds.
EDHECinfra will continue to collect data globally for years to come. Our performance measurement technology can place private infrastructure investments, both debt and equity, on an equal footing with other asset classes and will greatly enhance the ability of investors to make allocation and investment decisions.