2020 Agenda


  • 08:00

    Registration & Networking Breakfast

  • 09:00

    Inframation Welcome

    Brendan  Malkin
    Brendan Malkin
    Editor Europe, Inframation News
  • 09:05

    Five charts on infrastructure M&A

    Referencing Inframation Deals data, our head of research reveals some of the key trends to watch in the market.

  • 09:15
  • 09:45

    Panel: Infrastructure investing in a time of upheaval

    Europe continues to be a destination of choice for infrastructure investors from across the globe. Deal activity in 2019 was robust and fundraising remained strong. But political, environmental, regulatory and fiscal factors have driven infrastructure investors to fine-tune their strategies.

    • How great a concern is the threat of a global recession for infrastructure investors?
    • Is the UK market still attractive despite its political and regulatory risks?
    • Do you predict a change in the ownership of European utilities amidst regulatory pressures?  
    • What were the stand-out deals of 2019 and what can the infrastructure investing market learn from them?

    Lawrence  Slade
    Lawrence Slade
    Chief Executive , Global Infrastructure Investor Association (GIIA)
    Julia Prescot
    Julia Prescot
    Co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer, Meridiam
  • 10:30

    Morning refreshment and networking break

  • 11:00

    Keynote Presentation

    Dr Annegret  Groebel
    Dr Annegret Groebel
    President of Council of European Energy Regulators and Director of International Relations , German Regulatory Authority for Electricity, Gas, Telecommunications, Post and Railway (BNetzA)
  • 11:15

    Panel: Are European regulators treating utilties unfairly?

    Privately-owned utilities claim to be excellent value for money, particularly given their ability to innovate to save customers’ costs and reduce carbon emissions. But regulators in Sweden, the UK and Germany and elsewhere in Europe are cutting their allowed returns. Are regulators getting the right balance of protecting consumers and adequately remunerating investors? 

    • What are the best examples in Europe of utilities being innovative in order to maximise customer value for money and protect the environment? 
    • Despite cuts to allowed returns utilities still pay decent dividends to infrastructure fund, suggesting that regulators are right to cut these returns. Who is right? 
    • What’s the lessons from events in Germany in which thousands of utilities of all sizes took the German energy regulator to court over large reductions in allowed equity returns? 
    • What can governments do more of to protect the future of utilities, given their vital importance in national economies? 

    Priit Koit
    Priit Koit
    CEO, Utilitas
    Dr Annegret  Groebel
    Dr Annegret Groebel
    President of Council of European Energy Regulators and Director of International Relations , German Regulatory Authority for Electricity, Gas, Telecommunications, Post and Railway (BNetzA)
  • 12:00

    Panel: Pension funds go large

    From the Nordics to the UK, new platforms and pools have sprung up to facilitate super-sized pension fund investments into infrastructure. Are these vehicles ready to compete with their Canadian and Australian counterparts and how will fund managers balance increasing allocations with a preference for low-risk and new rules on ESG compliance and responsible investing? 

    • Which European countries are creating the best environment for pension funds looking at infrastructure, and why? 
    • More than a year after eight pension pools were formed in the UK, expectations building around their infrastructure ambitions 
    • Domestic deals will be favoured first but increasing appetites will push pension funds into new areas. How far up the risk spectrum can they go? 
    • Greenfield risk versus secondary market opportunities across Europe: who is selling, who is buying? 
    • Personnel changes – how are teams being restructured 

  • 12:45

    Networking lunch

  • 13:45

    On-Stage Interview - CAA

  • 14:05

    Panel: Is buying portfolios the best way forward for airport investors?

    In the race for scale in the airports space, the big question on investors’ minds is whether to target individual assets or portfolios. Some investors have targeted individual airports with little luck, while others have seemingly had great success from platform deals. 

    • Airports in regions such as CEE and japan provide big returns, particularly potential future hubs. But are they worth targeting individually given the challenges involved in doing so? 
    • Investors have seen on paper great success from doing platform deals, but do the numbers stack up given the highly competitive nature of such deals? 
    • Vinci Airports now owns 46 airports, double the number just five years ago, through a mix of platform and individual deals. It now wants to buy Groupe ADP, owner of a large stake in TAV. What’s its perspective on the platform vs individual asset deal? 

    David  Delgado-Romero
    David Delgado-Romero
    Partner, Meridiam
  • 14:50

    Panel: Infra lending - more dynamic but riskier?

    Infrastructure lending is becoming increasingly dynamic as private equity-style infrastructure funds seek to adapt LBO structures, a transition which has recently led to the sector’s first hybrid financings. Meanwhile debt funds retain a healthy appetite for long tenor and increasingly expensive loans. But how resilient is the market, and is now a time for some belt-tightening?

    • Is there scope for further expansion of the private placement market, particularly one in which institutional act as exclusive lenders on deals?
    • Do you forecast an increase in the number of mid-market deals priced at 300-400bps, particularly in sectors such as care homes that institutionals have not yet got comfortable with?
    • Describe a typical LBO-style hybrid deal and explain why managers prefer them over traditional infrastructure financings?
    • Are lenders acting more cautiously as Europe’s economy slackens, and interest rates decline amidst faltering inflation?
    • What opportunities are there for hedge funds in Europe’s infrastructure finance market?

    Phil Hyman
    Phil Hyman
    Executive Diretcor, DC Advisory
  • 15:35

    Afternoon refreshment and networking break

  • 16:05

    Keynote: Transforming the UK's Fibre Broadband Market

    Few people know more about developing fibre networks than Greg Mesch. After a successful career developing fibre networks for the likes of Versatel and euNetworks, in 2011 Greg co-founded UK fibre business CityFibre. After raising capital though a London listing, in 2018 the business was sold in a take-private to Goldman Sachs and Antin Infrastructure. Today, CityFibre plans to install fibre in 5 million homes across 50 cities in the UK by 2025.

    • How do you overcome challenges facing fibre installers in the UK, including multiple fibre builders and construction risks
    • Do you think the government is creating the level playing field CityFibre and peers need to challenge the incumbents?
    • What’s your vision for the continued expansion of CityFibre beyond 2025?
  • 16:20

    Panel: Digital infrastructure - Disruption and the future of data

    Digitisation is now commonplace across infrastructure assets and portfolios are being benchmarked and reassessed by many GPs considering new technology. Data centres and fibre broadband have been the most obvious go-to for investors seeking to capitalise on this shift but how future-proof are current valuations and investment horizons, and what other sectors are next in line for disruption? 

    • Venture capital and new models for deal origination- how are infra funds getting ahead of changes in technology 
    • Sectors at risk from the next wave of disruption: from EVs and energy transition to telecoms 
    • New faces in infrastructure – how people from Amazon, Google and Tesla are shaping current investment strategies  
    • Using AI for asset management, due diligence and market forecasting 

    Stefan Barry
    Stefan Barry
    Diretcor, MUFG
    Matthew  Hare
    Matthew Hare
    CEO, Zzoomm
    Colin Sempill
    Colin Sempill
    CEO, SSE Enterprise
  • 17:05

    Networking cocktail reception