GIIA / MMC Risk Roundtable

MMC’s Director of Insights, Blair Chalmers looks back at the joint GIIA / MMC Risk Roundtable held recently in London.

Marsh & McLennan Companies and the Global Infrastructure Investor Association hosted an infrastructure investor roundtable discussion in London on 25 September 2019.

View slides from GIIA / MMC Risk Roundtable 

The morning began with a welcome from Jon Phillips of the Global Infrastructure Investor Association and Martin Bennett of Marsh JLT Specialty.  Then Blair Chalmers of Marsh & McLennan Insights set the scene by delivering an overview of the key takeaways for investors in infrastructure from the Global Risks Report 2019, a publication that Marsh & McLennan Companies has supported the World Economic Forum on for the last 14 years. Whilst environmental and cyber related risks were dominant from a global perspective, it was clear that infrastructure investors are also exposed to a broad range of economic, geo-political, societal and reputational risks as well.

Neil Duchesne, a Senior Partner from Credit Specialties at Marsh JLT Specialty provided insights with respect to political risks in developed markets.  Neil presented case studies which highlighted the trend of increasing geo-political and economic uncertainty in previously considered ‘safe’ countries.  One case examined the current status quo in the United Kingdom where the rise of radical, populist parties could threaten a change in utility ownership and regulatory supervision.  Another showed that whilst China’s Belt & Road Initiative (BRI) was initially expected to be almost entirely focused on emerging markets, 12 EU markets have already signed MOUs with China with respect to the BRI, with Italy expected to be the first G7 nation to join.  The ongoing and escalating trade war between the US and China continues to erode investor confidence, raise EP&C costs and increase the chance of direct export embargos.  Neil showed that whilst concerns about political risks in developed markets are a hot topic, as high as they have been for a while; Lloyd’s political risk claims data from 1997-2017 shows that over USD$660 million of claims were paid out in Western and Central Europe.  Whilst concerns are currently high, the reality of the political risks in developed countries has always been there.  Recommended mitigation strategies included close monitoring of government activities in jurisdiction of interest, developing a detailed understanding of a firm’s supply chain and risk exposures, and conducting extensive legal due diligence on all contractual matters.

Sarika Goel, Principal at Mercer presented infrastructure investor takeaways from Mercer’s latest ‘Investing in a Time of Climate Change’ report. The third edition of the report was released in 2019 and states that investing for a 2ºC scenario is both an imperative and an opportunity.  Whilst infrastructure assets face the greatest exposure from physical risks in the long run from climate change, infrastructure also has a high positive exposure to transition risk.  Sarika also shared findings from Mercer’s European Investor Asset Allocation Survey, which gathers insights from c. 900 asset owners representing approximately $1 trillion in AUM.  The most recent survey shows that 55% of asset owners are now considering ESG risks in their investment decision making process (up from 40% in 2018). However, separately, only 14% currently consider climate change risks.

In concluding, Sarika highlighted three types of investors with respect to climate change.  There are the ‘Unaware Future Takers’ who ignore risks and opportunities linked to systemic risks, to the potential detriment of long-term returns.  Then there are the ‘Aware Future Takers’ who consider systemic risks in portfolios, taking action across and within asset classes and industry sectors.  Lastly there are the ‘Future Makers’ who build upon the aware future taker position and make a concerted effort to influence systemic, market-wide actions aligned with ideal real world outcomes. These are the investors who are working individually and collectively to advocate for a 2 degree Celsius aligned world from both businesses and from governments.

Andy Perry, Principal at Oliver Wyman, spoke on the topic ‘The Future of Renewables Investing’. He began by showing how forecasts for the growth in renewable energy (RE) generation capacity have been underestimating the true growth each year for the last decade.  In addition, the cost of renewable generation has been falling so quickly that subsidies are disappearing because RE generation is competitive on a standalone basis.  Andy explained that this is indicative of the RE industry coming to the end of the first of three phases of development, namely it has earned the ‘right to compete’ on a levelised cost competitive basis.  The industry is now moving into the second phase where there will be a ‘Focus on Flexibility’ that will dominate in the period 2020 to 2030/35.  This period will see a significant value shift from generation volumes sold in the wholesale market to flexibility and capacity services that ensure availability of generation when it is needed and the ability to optimise against price in the market.  The third and final phase is focused on a move to a net zero energy system made possible through a combination of means including cheap home solar, local EV and home storage, affordable large-scale cheap RE generation and potentially carbon capture technology and H2 as a means of supporting globally traded flexibility.

It is unclear exactly how the market will evolve in the coming decade, but what is clear is that using flexibility to control renewables output will be critical to optimising returns.  In closing, Andy laid out a number of potential business models with this is mind.  The first option would be to have RE and assets which allow flexibility to be jointly developed at the same site by the same owner/investor.  Another would be to invest in multiple RE and flexibility assets in different locations which would be operated in unison as part of a portfolio.  A third is for a joint PPA with a profile guarantee, where there is a contractual agreement for remote flexibility assets to smooth RE output for the off-taker. The last option was for the sale of RE into a 3rd party VPP platform, whereby the VPP takes responsibility for optimising output in tandem with separately procured flexible capability.

Guillaume Thibault, Partner at Oliver Wyman, closed out the morning with his presentation on ‘Future Mobility Trends’.  Guillaume explained that mobility, whether through the movement or goods or people, is a fundamental pillar of the global economy and represents 16% of GDP.  Advances in technology, combined with a multitude of trends and disruptions have massively change the mobility landscape.  There are now significant environmental, societal and economic impacts at stake depending on the way in which future mobility dynamics play out.

What is clear however is that investment will continue to pour into the mobility sector, with mobility market growth expected to outperform global GDP growth by 30% by 2030.  In the same timeframe, physical exports are forecast to rise 40% globally and international tourist arrivals will grow by 70%.  With 50% of future ground mobility expected to come in the form of shared vehicles, this will have a significant impact on the cities of the future which much develop ways for all mobility components to be interconnected.  Dedicated communication infrastructure will be needed to absorb the increasingly large data requirements. Investors need to recognise that there is a value shift happening in the industry, with Oliver Wyman predicting that by 2030 only 20% of the mobility industry value will be in manufacturing.  Over 50% is expected to come from mobility meta-platforms.

In conclusion Guillaume highlighted how energy and transport providers will likely need to resort to coalition building as this will increasingly become a pre-requisite for success in a world where everything is increasingly connected but no one organisation can be a leader across the board.  Additionally he stated that more flexible and open-sourced governance approaches will be required in the future.  This applies to urban master planning, regulatory regimes and project financing.

This event was the third infrastructure investor roundtable hosted by the Global Infrastructure Investor Association and Marsh & McLennan Companies in 2019, following roundtables in Tokyo (June) and New York (July).

The Global Risks Report 2020 will be released in January 2020 and GIIA and MMC will continue to collaborate on additional resources linked to significant infrastructure investment risks and opportunities.

 

GIIA Members join NGA delegation to Australia

A delegation from the National Governors Association recently visited Australia on a fact finding trip as part of the NGA’s year-long initiative on Infrastructure. GIIA plays an active role on the National Governors Association Advisory Panel on Infrastructure and its members were leading contributors on the visit.

NGA Chair Governor Larry Hogan and the delegation met with senior Australian officials to discuss the Australian experience in using private finance to provide roads, mass transit, ports and other infrastructure and included meetings with senior Australian Government officials including the Deputy Prime Minister.

Speaking on the visit, IFM’s Tom Osborne said:

“While the Australian infrastructure investment framework and practice differs in some important ways from the United States, there were nonetheless useful lessons to be shared about project prioritisation and winning public support for private investment in public assets. The opportunities to interact locally with seasoned practitioners of public-private partnerships from both government and the private sector was valuable.”

Through its partnership with the NGA, GIIA present members with opportunities for engagement with Governors and state officials with an interest in unlocking private investment in US infrastructure.

GIIA appoints Lawrence Slade as Chief Executive

PRESS RELEASE – Wednesday September 18th, 2019 

Global Infrastructure Investor Association (GIIA) has announced the appointment of Lawrence Slade as its new Chief Executive.

Lawrence, currently Chief Executive of Energy UK, will start his new role at GIIA on 1st January 2020 succeeding Andrew Rose who announced at the Association’s Annual General Meeting in March this year his plan to step down as GIIA’s inaugural Chief Executive at the end of 2019.

Commenting on the appointment, GIIA Chairman Christopher Frost said:

“Lawrence brings a wealth of experience and expertise in the global energy sector and I am delighted that he will be joining GIIA. I look forward to welcoming him to his new role and working with him to take GIIA on to the next phase of its international development.

On behalf of the Board and wider membership, I would also like to pay tribute to Andy Rose who has successfully established GIIA as the authoritative voice for the infrastructure investor community, building an unrivalled global membership and increasingly global footprint for our advocacy and engagement work. We are very pleased that Andy has agreed to continue as an expert advisor to GIIA.”

Speaking on his appointment Lawrence Slade said:

“I’m honoured to be asked to take on this important role and build on the great progress Andy and the team have made. With billions of infrastructure investment needed around the world, I am excited by the global nature of GIIA’s mission and the scale of opportunities for the sector. I look forward to getting started and working with our members and stakeholders.”

Andrew Rose said:

“It has been a privilege to have been GIIA’s first Chief Executive and see the Association grow its membership and global voice. We have built an excellent team and I am delighted that Lawrence has agreed to take on the role to expand GIIA’s international presence. I look forward to continuing to support the Board, Executive and Members in promoting the role of private investment in delivering sustainable infrastructure for future generations.”

GIIA is grateful to Marcus de Luca and the team at Heidrick & Struggles and also to Clifford Chance for their support in the appointment process.

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Biographical notes:
Lawrence Slade joined Energy UK in 2011, becoming Chief Executive in January 2015. He has been involved in the energy industry since the late 1990’s working in countries all over the world. Lawrence is a member of the UK Government’s Committee on Fuel Poverty, an Advisory Board member of Connected Kerb, a Board Trustee and Audit Committee member of the Money Advice Trust (who run the National Debtline and Business Debtline), and a board director of Eurelectric and Eurogas, pan European trade associations for the electricity and gas industries respectively. He is also a Fellow of the Energy Institute, a member of the Institute of Directors, and a Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Fuellers.

About GIIA:
GIIA is the membership body for the world’s leading institutional investors. With more than 70 members, we work with governments and other stakeholders to boost the role of private investment in providing infrastructure that improves national, regional and local economies. GIIA members have investments in 1,300 assets, across 49 countries, totalling $660 billion of infrastructure assets under management.

National Governors’ Association Infrastructure Advisory Panel

GIIA has joined the US National Governors’ Association Advisory Panel on Infrastructure which was launched at the recent 2019 NGA Summer Meeting held in Salt Lake City.

During the Summer Meeting incoming Chairman, Governor Larry Hogan (MD), announced a year-long initiative ‘Infrastructure: Foundation for Success’ aimed at helping Governors and State leaders solve State’s infrastructure challenges with a focus on bridges, roads, airports, railways, energy, water and broadband.

“Modern and well-functioning infrastructure is vital to a prosperous economy, public safety and quality of life for all Americans,” Gov. Hogan said.

“Through my NGA Chair’s Initiative, Infrastructure: Foundation for Success, America’s governors will build on their record of leadership to explore solutions that ensure that America’s infrastructure is responsive, efficient and safeguarded against cyber threats. Governors are dedicated to finding better ways to move people and goods and provide energy, water and communications services.”

GIIA Director of Corporate Affairs Jon Phillips said:

“GIIA is pleased to be supporting the NGA Chair’s Initiative focused on supporting States to provide the innovative and efficient infrastructure that is needed.”

“GIIA members own and operate more than 100 US infrastructure assets and through our relationship with the NGA we hope to play a key role in helping States unlock private investment to deliver the modern infrastructure vital to the needs of current and future generations.”

As a member of the Advisory Panel, GIIA will work with the NGA on events both in the United States and abroad. Members wishing to become more engaged in GIIA’s work with the NGA should contact Jon Phillips at jphillips@giia.net

Click here to learn more about the NGA’s vision, goals and programme of events. 

Global Risk Roundtable

Global infrastructure investors are exposed to a broad range of economic, geo-political, technological and societal risks that impact investment strategies both for today and into the future. GIIA, in partnership with Associate Member Marsh & McLennan, is holding a series of roundtables looking at global risks for infrastructure investors.

The first such event was held last month in Tokyo and this month investors gathered in New York.  Karen Lockridge, Principle, Responsible Investment at Mercer set out some of the challenges posed by climate change, and attendees also heard from Michael McGowan, Principal at Mercer who provided an overview of the North American infrastructure risk landscape, looking at the makeup of deals in the region over the last decade.  Finally, Timo Pervane, Partner at Oliver Wyman shared insights on the way in which AI will be used by cities around the globe and what that means for infrastructure investors.

GIIA and Marsh & McLennan will be hosting a third Risk Roundtable for infrastructure investors in London on September 25th. For more details about this event please contact Tim Horan at thoran@giia.net

Europe’s energy transition

GIIA, in partnership with Aquila Capital, recently hosted an investor roundtable looking at the ongoing Energy Transition in Europe.

As 2020 draws closer, and with it the European Commission’s Renewable Energy Directive deadline for Member States to increase renewable energy levels to 20%, investors across Europe are responding to both opportunities and challenges from this significant area of international policy.

Attendees learnt that as many of the larger nations including France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom lag behind on their targets, the ongoing transition to more renewable energies is more in focus now than ever before. Expert contributions to the event came from Tom Howes, Deputy Head of Economic Analysis and Financial Instruments at DG Energy; Dario Traum, Head of Policy for Europe, Middle East and North Africa at Bloomberg New Energy Finance; Dr Tor Syverud, Head of HydroPower Investments, Aquila Capital; and Mirko Masek, Partner, Freshfields who provided their insight on this important policy area.

With Government balance sheets stretched, it will continue to fall to the private sector to lead the push to cleaner energy generation. And with more than 200 renewable energy assets located across Europe, GIIA members are at the forefront of this challenge.

 

GIIA Members’ Assets Grow to $660bn

Analysis compiled by Associate Member EY, working with GIIA, reveals significant growth in members’ assets under management – rising from $500bn in 17/18 to more than $660bn – with 1,300 assets spanning 49 countries across 6 continents.

Globally, GIIA members’ assets provide the essential infrastructure needed by hundreds of millions of people every day – including utilities, energy, transport, telecommunications and social infrastructure.

Of particular note, members made significant investments in renewable energies increasing capacity to 48,000MW of wind power (up 16,300MW), 33,000MW of solar (up 20,300MW) and 14,800MW of hydro and biomass (up 7,300MW) since 17/18.

Based on responses by members, the findings show that for every £100bn of AUM, members will invest an additional £96.7bn in capex over the next five years – an increase of almost 20% since 17/18.

Click here to view the GIIA 2018/19 Global Asset Database

GIIA’s Submission To Infrastructure Finance Review

Following extensive consultation with investor members, GIIA has recently made a submission to the UK Government’s Infrastructure Finance Review.

Conducted jointly by HM Treasury and the Infrastructure Projects Authority, the Infrastructure Finance Reviews looks at the relative strengths and weaknesses of the UK’s infrastructure finance market,  the opportunities for the private sector in financing infrastructure,  the role of the EIB and the effectiveness of current Government tools to support the supply of infrastructure finance.

GIIA works constructively with governments around the globe to help build a robust evidence base that can provide a strong basis for future informed policy proposals facilitating private investment to meet infrastructure needs.

GIIA is grateful to Associate Member Clifford Chance for their assistance with this submission.

To read GIIA’s IFR submission please click here 

 

GIIA responds on EU Airport Charges Directive

GIIA has recently submitted a high level response to the consultants engaged by the European Commission looking into the EU Airport Charges Directive. We will continue to engage with members and stakeholders, including Airports Council International (ACI), on these matters.

GIIA members own stakes in 54 airports, across 13 countries which serve more than 585 million passengers each year.

Click the link below to read GIIA’s response.

GIIA response to Steer ACD consultation

GIIA responds to NIC’s call for evidence

GIIA, has responded on behalf of members to the National Infrastructure Commission’s Call for Evidence for their review, called The Future of Regulation Study.

The submission was a result of extensive consultations with GIIA members who collectively own and operate more than $660bn of infrastructure assets globally, with the largest single country allocation being the UK.

Director of Policy and Research Piers Thompson said:

“Economic regulation of water, energy and telecoms in the UK has facilitated the investment that has delivered world class infrastructure with improved outcomes for consumers, at low cost.”

“These sectors can continue to attract investment and deliver positive outcomes for consumers and the environment if objectivity, transparency and predictability continue to be core to the regulatory model.”

Read GIIA’s full submission here

GIIA is grateful to Allen & Overy for their assistance with this important submission on behalf of the sector.