2020 Agenda

  • 08:00

    Delegate registration & networking breakfast

  • 09:00

    Inframation news welcome

    Jon Berke
    Jon Berke
    Editor, US, Inframation News
  • 09:05

    Opening Keynote Address: Jamie Rubin, Chief Executive Officer, Meridiam North America

    The infrastructure fund industry has exploded in the past 10 years. The converging factors of zero interest rates, predictable returns and historic performance on IRR has led to the fundraise of two USD 20bn plus funds-GIP IV and BIP IV—and for Blackstone to raise over USD 14bn in its inaugural open-ended effort. The avalanche of dry powder coming to a historically slow US infrastructure market has raised questions on where to deploy the capital.  Meridiam Infrastructure as a fund, typically concentrates on greenfield projects and does not chase operating company buyouts which has become the norm for these larger funds. Meridiam’s North American CEO Jamie Rubin career has spanned both worlds in some respects having honed his skills at PE shops One Equity Partners and BC Partners, then leaving for a stint in Governor Andrew Cuomo’s administration and finally joining Meridiam in 2018. In today’s keynote address, Rubin will address the following bullet points: 

    • What lessons did he learn from his stint in the private equity industry and how does it translate to today’s super-sized infra funds  

    • Where does the opportunity lay for these funds?  

    • How will ESG play a role in how these funds invest  

    • What’s his macro-view on what might impact infra funds in the coming years? 

    Jamie  Rubin
    Jamie Rubin
    Chief Executive Officer, Meridiam NA
  • 09:25

    Opening panel discussion: State of infrastructure investing in North America

    Infrastructure funds saw a massive amount of deal flow in 2019 in terms of both volume and dollars. Take privates for global fiber operator Zayo Corp and railroad operator Genesee & Wyoming collectively accounted for USD 22bn in deal flow. Elsewhere, there were multiple deals announced in the midstream and ports space where the deal value exceeded USD 1bn. Driving deal flow is an abundance of dry powder and a point in the cycle where first and second generation infra funds needed to sell off assets as their funds neared maturity. Speakers on today’s panel will address the following: 

    • What sectors will see deal flow activity into 2020 and why? 

    • Will multiples continue to be driven up? 

    • What impact will European investors have on the space 

    • Will Cincinnati Bell continue to redefine the meaning of infrastructure investing and what other sectors might crop up in this vain 

    Barry  Gold
    Barry Gold
    Managing Partner, NEXUS Infrastructure Capital
    Peter  Taylor
    Peter Taylor
    Managing Director, Carlyle Global Infrastructure
  • 10:10

    Morning refreshments & networking break

  • 10:40

    Keynote Address: Scott Jacobs, CEO and Co-founder, Generate Capital

    With solar and wind becoming more efficient, investors are turning to other sustainable energy generation such as hydro and embracing battery storage. Founded in 2014, Generate Capital, an investment and operating platform focused on sustainable infrastructure. Generate Capital has partnered with leading project developers and technology solutions to drive the “resource revolution” – doing more with less in our energy, water, waste and food systems – building and operating hundreds of millions of dollars of infrastructure in distributed generation, waste transformation, and sustainable transport. Scott Jacobs is the CEO and Co-Founder 

    Scott Jacobs, CEO and Co-Found will address the following topics: 

    • Which of these technologies have started to become investable technologies and why? 

    • What other forms of energy and power generation are less developed, but have potential and why? 

    • What kind of subsidies are out there to fund these technologies in their nascent stages? 

    •  Is there still opportunity in solar and wind and where is it? 

  • 11:00

    Panel discussion: Sustainable energy: finding new funding for new renewables opportunities

    Hydro, energy storage and water desalination have become rising areas for sustainable energy investing as solar and wind development have become mature and more efficient. Support has also come at the federal level as this past summer Congress introduced the Renewable Electricity Tax Credit Equalization Act to help along the likes biomass, hydro, biogas and waste-to-energy industries as part of a “baseload” energy sources to provide 24/7 renewable electricity. 

    Though costs have come way down for solar and wind in recent years, renewable developers had to take another deep breath as separate tax breaks for solar and wind energy developers were set to expire in the next two years, but extension proposals were either proposed or being looked at. Panelists will look at the following  

    • What are the current drivers for sustainable energy investing today? 

    • How do infra investors currently strategize today between the newer energies and solar & wind? 

    • How are deals being structured around the current and/or future expiration of the PTC and ITC Credit 

    • How corporate PPAs changing the dynamic 

    Stuart Murray
    Stuart Murray
    Principal, Head of Energy Management Consulting North America, AFRY Management Consulting
    Mario  Maselli
    Mario Maselli
    Managing Partner, Upper Bay Infrastructure Partners
  • 11:45

    Panel discussion: Midstream: Investment strategies for construction boom and commodity risk

    Midstream has become a major staple infrastructure funds as a host of take private opportunities continue to arise off under-valued equities. And enormous institutional capital will be needed in the coming years as multiple LNG facilities today are receiving the necessary environmental permits which will allow them to proceed with construction. Panelists today will look at  

    • New opportunities in midstream and why 

    • Long term prognosis for LNG 

    • Will infra and energy infra funds reach for services firms around these business for core plus opportunities  

    • With oil still at unsustainable levels for some E&P producers, is there forcing any compression on margins for pipeline owners and how is that impacting the deal pipeline in the space  

    Hadley  Peer Marshall
    Hadley Peer Marshall
    Managing Director, Brookfield Asset Management
    Terry  Pratt
    Terry Pratt
    Director , Fitch
  • 12:30

    Networking Lunch

  • 13:30

    Fireside chat: CFIUS

    In recent years, foreign investors have made major investments in important infrastructure assets.  Concurrently, expanding regulations have made review by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) an increasingly crucial part of the process of getting such deals done.  The latest development is the February 13th effectiveness of the new final regulations implementing reforms to CFIUS enacted by the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act of 2018, which among other things affect investment in critical infrastructure.  In today’s fireside chat, Christopher L. Mann of Sullivan & Cromwell will discuss the following topics with Alexandra Yestrumskas, Senior Counsel in the Office of the Assistant General Counsel for International Affairs-US Department of Treasury, who serves as CFIUS lead counsel.  

    •  What are the latest developments in CFIUS? 

    •  How will it benefit or be a deterrent to future investments in infrastructure by foreign investors or operators?  

    •  How will greenfield infrastructure be treated under the new CFIUS regime? 

  • 13:50

    Panel discussion: How will port and railroad deals get affected by current trade environment

    With over 20 transactions done in the ports and rail space in the past three years in North America, these subsectors have been most active among core investment opportunities for infrastructure funds in the US. This includes the USD 8.4bn acquisition of global class II and class III railroad operator Genesee & Wyoming by Brookfield Infrastructure and GIC and MIRA’s USD 1.78bn buyout of the Port of Long Beach. 

    However, there appears to be a host of issues that hurt performance of both asset classes in the near term. Earlier in 2019, Moody’s estimated that the gradual retirement of coal plants as utilities continue to shift generation to renewable sources could result in the loss of USD 5bn in revenues to the railroad industry. The ports, particularly on the West Coast, also could get impacted by the trade wars taking place between China and US and the impact of the coronavirus. Finally, the US and Canada ports spending a massive amount of capex in recent years to overhaul and improve their operations to allow for bigger ships with more cargo to sail into their ports. Panelists will discuss: 

    •   China’s impact on trade and how it could impact West Coast trading ports 

    • What strategies are port owners using to hedge against continued tariffs 

    •  What effect if any does it have on institutional capital’s ability to finance their deals in this area 

    • What impact will the trade wars have on short haul rail operators 

    • Will shipping alliances impact both forms of core infra? 

    Andrew  Ancone
    Andrew Ancone
    Managing Director, Macquarie Capital
  • 14:35

    Afternoon refreshments and networking break

  • 15:05

    Fireside chat – Debt capital markets

    With nearly USD 40bn issued in 2019 in refinancing on projects in the US and surging TLB market to support big infrastructure deals as of late such as Zayo Corporation, the capital markets has been very much open for business through both public-side bank lending and private credit. Experts will meet today to discuss the following trends: 

    • What trends have emerged in infrastructure lending which have been distinct from the broader leveraged loan market 

    • What has been the impact on the rise of private credit funds in the market 

    • Have there been a significant structural change to credit agreements as its concerns either project finance deals or term loan Bs 

    Anthony  Ferraro
    Anthony Ferraro
    Head of Private Placements and Project Bonds, Natixis
  • 15:30

    Panel discussion: Fundraising: rethinking returns in a competitive environment

    Inframation Deals data shows there are at least 178 funds in the market fundraising collectively targeting USD 349bn. This on top of the USD 30.7bn that has been raised by specialist infrastructure and renewable energy funds so far this year through July 2019. Questions remain as to whether there are enough opportunities out there and how GPs manage return expectations when increasing acquisition multiples inevitably mean lower returns. Separately, are the alternative strategies GPs are structuring also creating new opportunities such as renewables, super-core and debt? Also how are exit strategies affected by existing funds?

    Paulo  Arencibia
    Paulo Arencibia
    VP and Senior Investment Director, Axium Infrastructure
    Guillermo  Marroquin
    Guillermo Marroquin
    Head of North American Real Assets, Campbell Lutyens
    Michael  Lombardi, CFA, CAIA
    Michael Lombardi, CFA, CAIA
    Senior Investment Officer , New York State Common Retirement Fund
  • 16:15

    Panel discussion: Digital Infra: building out connectivity for the future

    Demand for data has driven both investment in data center owner and joint ventures for Greenfields data center development with existing owners. On the same front, the Zayo deal is example of deals where infra funds control the middle mile for both business and consumers. Today’s panelists will discuss the following trends: 

    • Hyperscale vs edge data center buildout  

    • End game for all these fiber deals 

    • Telecom companies carving out real assets—opportunities risk 

    • What are the next areas of investment for infrastructure telecom investors? 

    Jack  Bittan
    Jack Bittan
    Partner , InstarAGF Asset Management Inc
    Kevin  Genieser
    Kevin  Genieser
    Senior Partner, Antin Infrastructure Partners
    Raymond  Hawkins
    Raymond Hawkins
    Chief Revenue Officer, Compass DataCenters
  • 17:00

    Close of conference & drinks reception