09:40Global Outlook: The next move for investors
Adaptability has been key, as fund managers across the globe have reacted to the unique market conditions created by the pandemic, technology disruption, and aggressive climate change initiatives that are changing the game for infrastructure investors. Large amounts of capital have continued to flow into the asset class, and in light of COVID-19, we are waiting to see how governments will use their infrastructure plans to focus and stimulate investment. Not only have GPs had to use their expertise to manage their current assets over the last 18 months, they have also had to broaden their investment thesis. In this session, a panel of global experts will address the challenges and future opportunities available to investors.
- Which sectors and geographies are global investors betting on?
- How are GPs adapting their processes and strategy for fundraising?
- What does President Biden’s infrastructure plan mean for investors around the world?
- How does Asia compare as an investment destination to the US and Europe?
- What are the implications for investing in Australia, considering the tightening of foreign investment rules?
11:40Australia: Reigniting the fire
Although deal activity has returned this year, with at least three multi-billion-dollar asset sales already in the offing and investor interest in telecom infrastructure reaching unprecedented levels, owners of airports, toll roads, and other travel-related core assets look likely to continue to face headwinds. For the next wave of opportunities, as we wait to see the extent of state governments’ plans for capital recycling and new projects, the rise in demand for renewable energy and a flurry of private equity–style deals that can capture growth will all keep investors busy. Even though the opportunity characteristics might differ from the past, the outlook is positive. A panel of experts will share their views on the future of the market.
- Which sectors present the best opportunities, and what expertise is required to manage these assets?
- How do you evaluate risk and return for airports and toll roads?
- How can investors benefit from Australian government plans to use infrastructure projects as economic stimulus?
- Will there be more M&A activity this year as a result of demergers and take-privates, or corporate asset disposals?
- Do hurdles remain for investors in completing deals as a result of Covid-19 and what can be done to mitigate these issues?
- How do you tackle stranded asset risk for fossil fuel-related investments?
12:35Firming up the future: The next step in the energy transition
Australia’s renewable energy market continues to grow and the outlook is bright, with COVID-19 accelerating institutional investors’ shift in the direction of asset classes that support decarbonisation, their ESG policy, and align with public opinion. This has led to a rush of renewables platform sales since late last year ending a price expectation gap stand-off over the previous couple of years when projects were hit by grid restrictions. With the sector preparing for the retirement of coal-fired power plants, facilitating the timely entry of a new generation of renewable sources, unresolved issues relating to storage, firming capacity, and grid access are on the horizon as the complexities surrounding regulation and policy become apparent.
- How can the grid be adapted to meet the challenges of reliability and decentralisation?
- What policies and regulations are in the pipeline to support the industry?
- Which sectors are investors bidding on to deliver consistent returns?
- What is the timeline for the transition from coal-fired power plants to fully renewable energy?
- How are investors developing their strategy to pick the right location and investments?
- What is the outlook for storage technologies for renewables?
14:20The future of PPPs: Collaborating to find a winning formula
The next evolution of the PPP model is approaching, and answers to the challenges facing the model need to be found to ensure that it continues to deliver successful outcomes and remains a viable option for all parties in tackling the infrastructure gap, particularly in light of stimulus programmes being considered to drive growth post-pandemic. However, the project pipeline is slow, and the real challenge to driving more PPPs in the current climate is flexibility and finding a procurement model that works for all, as well as recognising the project’s risk profile and sharing of risk so that everyone’s interests are aligned. Despite PPPs being widely used and a successful solution for government and private capital, the continuing success of any procurement model is dependent on learning from the past and evolving.
- What projects are the government planning?
- How do you drive flexibility and genuine collaboration?
- How should risk be allocated and shared?
- What are the best ways to refresh the PPP model?
- What lessons can be learned from previous projects?
15:202021 and beyond: Infrastructure investment in a post-COVID-19 world
The events of the past year have impacted the way people live, work, travel, shop, and communicate. Figuring out the extent of this paradigm shift, and where temporary changes become ingrained habits, is essential to fashioning investment theses. For infrastructure investors, flexing the definition and finding an angle to broaden the scope of the asset class in order to participate in sectors that are experiencing unprecedented growth post-Covid-19 has enabled a flurry of deals and new projects in telecom towers, data centres, fibre-optic networks, land and motor registries, healthcare and screening services, and other sectors ripe for digital transformation. In this discussion a panel of industry experts will review the opportunities.
- Which industries have benefited most from COVID-19-related disruption?
- Which sectors have the best prospects for capturing growth?
- Has digital transformation changed the definition of infrastructure?
- How do you measure the long-term risk and return profile?
- What type of skills are required to manage these assets?
16:15LP spotlight: Developing a portfolio strategy for the future
ESG effort has noticeably gathered momentum in the last 12 months and will impact how LPs view their existing and future portfolio companies, as will the dramatic effect COVID-19 has had on core assets that have always been fundamental to infrastructure investors’ portfolios. Inevitably, LPs need to keep committing to the asset class despite the travel restrictions and understand the information priorities when one is unable to visit a GP in person. Hence, effective alternatives for performing on-site due diligence and tapping into existing networks has been key. In this session, a group of seasoned LPs will discuss how they are rethinking, refocusing, and redefining their priorities as they plan their new commitments in today’s uncertain environment.
- How are the future needs of LPs in terms of team size, location, and skills being addressed?
- How is ESG playing a more important role in allocation decisions?
- How have due diligence requirements been adapted?
- How have investment strategies changed in terms of geography and sectors?
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