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National Governors Association Summer Meeting

U.S. Governors and GIIA members met in Santa Fe, New Mexico at the National Governors Association (NGA) Summer Meeting in July to progress discussions about the benefits of private capital to help Governors achieve their aspirations for state infrastructure projects.

The programme was the result of more than 12 months of discussions with the NGA on how to best highlight the opportunities available to governors and states by partnering with private capital.

David Agnew of Macquarie, Jim Wilmott of Morgan Stanley, Frank Roeters van Lennep of PGGM and Tom Osborne of IFM teamed with GIIA’s CEO Andy Rose to represent the investor community.  They were joined at the roundtable event by Governors Brian Sandoval (Nevada), Chairman of the National Governors Association, Bill Haslam (Tennessee), John Hickenlooper (Colorado) and Doug Burgum (North Dakota).  Marcia Hale, President of Building America’s Future moderated the discussion.

The ninety minute session included presentations by each of the member companies and a robust discussion of the opportunities and challenges faced by governors as they work to invest in new infrastructure, and replace and maintain existing infrastructure for the future generations.  Governor Haslam was particularly focused on how GIIA members could help Governors manage the politics of private-public-partnerships including objections from public employees concerned for their jobs and benefits. Governor Hickenlooper highlighted his state’s extensive use of P3’s and the benefits of investing and delivering new projects today rather than waiting 10, 20 or even 30 years as called for in some state plans.  And Governor Sandoval linked the discussion to his Chairman’s Initiative “Ahead of the Curve,” a year-long project to examine the coming advances in energy production and transportation innovation that face governors and regulators in the near future.

The panel was followed two days later by a keynote discussion between Macquarie Senior Managing Director, Graeme Conway and Governor Sandoval before more than 20 U.S. governors.  During the session entitled, ‘Best Practices: Infrastructure Funding’, Mr. Conway reiterated the messages from the GIIA panel discussion and emphasized that public-private-partnerships, when done well, give states the control they need to meet political realities while also delivering an asset and value for money for the state and better services for consumers.

Finally, as part of the meeting NGA released a new report: “Governors Staying Ahead of the Transportation Innovation Curve” that calls for state agencies to seek partnerships with the private sector to leverage public monies through P3s, establish P3 offices within state government, and consider the viability of monetising existing assets enabling investment in new infrastructure.

With thanks to David Quam, Partner, Nelson Mullins for assisting with this report.