Infrastructure, Real Assets

The Infra Report Card

March 10, 2020
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Top and Bottom Quartiles Spread for Infrastructure Deals
2007-2018

Infrastructure has attracted significant capital in recent years on the back of strong aggregate performance (as demonstrated in the chart above), persistently low yields in competing investments and supportive macro and capital markets environments.

We went back and scoured our proprietary dataset to identify nearly 500 unique infrastructure deals dating back to 2007. We separated these deals by geography and infrastructure subsector and compared their performance. What we found may surprise you.

The Myth of the Emerging Markets Premium: First, we did not identify any meaningful return premium earned in emerging markets. We frequently hear from infrastructure investors that emerging markets are less competitive and in greater need of infrastructure investment. While we believe the thesis, historically speaking, developed markets have outperformed emerging markets, with lower downside risk.

The Infra Report Card: Second, all subsectors of infrastructure have performed well, with only power transmission deals demonstrating fourth quartile returns that were negative. Midstream and power generation had wider return dispersions than other sectors, but still generated compelling median returns. Transportation sectors, including airports, shipping, rail and parking infrastructure, also demonstrated strong returns, albeit with lower deal counts than other sub-sectors. Lastly, telecom and data-related infrastructure has attracted significant interest from our infrastructure GP partners. In looking at the deal-level returns, it is easy to see why. As seen in the chart above, across all of the telecom deals that we tracked, fourth quartile returns were 14%, with median returns of 34.6%. Not too shabby.

What do these historically strong returns mean for future capital deployment? We would argue that prudence and discipline remain key to effectively allocating infrastructure capital today. The historical performance is, no doubt, impressive, but when considered in light of the life cycle of infrastructure as an institutional asset class, we believe the historical returns should be viewed with some degree of caution. Infrastructure is still a relatively nascent asset class, though that is starting to change. Significant capital flows and the resulting expansion of market participants will undoubtedly increase competition for deals going forward. With that in mind, investors should moderate return expectations and follow a disciplined plan for capital deployment going forward.


This presentation has been prepared solely for informational purposes and contains confidential and proprietary information, the disclosure of which could be harmful to Hamilton Lane. Accordingly, the recipients of this presentation are requested to maintain the confidentiality of the information contained herein. This presentation may not be copied or distributed, in whole or in part, without the prior written consent of Hamilton Lane. 

The information contained in this presentation may include forward-looking statements regarding returns, performance, opinions, the fund presented or its portfolio companies, or other events contained herein. Forward-looking statements include a number of risks, uncertainties and other factors beyond our control, or the control of the fund or the portfolio companies, which may result in material differences in actual results, performance or other expectations. The opinions, estimates and analyses reflect our current judgment, which may change in the future. 

All opinions, estimates and forecasts of future performance or other events contained herein are based on information available to Hamilton Lane as of the date of this presentation and are subject to change. Past performance of the investments described herein is not indicative of future results. In addition, nothing contained herein shall be deemed to be a prediction of future performance. The information included in this presentation has not been reviewed or audited by independent public accountants. Certain information included herein has been obtained from sources that Hamilton Lane believes to be reliable, but the accuracy of such information cannot be guaranteed. 

This presentation is not an offer to sell, or a solicitation of any offer to buy, any security or to enter into any agreement with Hamilton Lane or any of its affiliates. Any such offering will be made only at your request. We do not intend that any public offering will be made by us at any time with respect to any potential transaction discussed in this presentation. Any offering or potential transaction will be made pursuant to separate documentation negotiated between us, which will supersede entirely the information contained herein. 

Certain of the performance results included herein do not reflect the deduction of any applicable advisory or management fees, since it is not possible to allocate such fees accurately in a vintage year presentation or in a composite measured at different points in time. A client’s rate of return will be reduced by any applicable advisory or management fees, carried interest and any expenses incurred. Hamilton Lane’s fees are described in Part 2 of our Form ADV, a copy of which is available upon request. 

The following hypothetical example illustrates the effect of fees on earned returns for both separate accounts and fund-of-funds investment vehicles. The example is solely for illustration purposes and is not intended as a guarantee or prediction of the actual returns that would be earned by similar investment vehicles having comparable features. The example is as follows: The hypothetical separate account or fund-of-funds consisted of $100 million in commitments with a fee structure of 1.0% on committed capital during the first four years of the term of the investment and then declining by 10% per year thereafter for the 12-year life of the account. The commitments were made during the first three years in relatively equal increments and the assumption of returns was based on cash flow assumptions derived from a historical database of actual private equity cash flows. Hamilton Lane modeled the impact of fees on four different return streams over a 12- year time period. In these examples, the effect of the fees reduced returns by approximately 2%. This does not include performance fees, since the performance of the account would determine the effect such fees would have on returns. Expenses also vary based on the particular investment vehicle and, therefore, were not included in this hypothetical example. Both performance fees and expenses would further decrease the return. 

Hamilton Lane (UK) Limited is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hamilton Lane Advisors, L.L.C. Hamilton Lane (UK) Limited is authorized and regulated by the Financial Conducts Authority. In the UK this communication is directed solely at persons who would be classified as a professional client or eligible counterparty under the FCA Handbook of Rules and Guidance. Its contents are not directed at, may not be suitable for and should not be relied upon by retail clients. 

Hamilton Lane Advisors, L.L.C. is exempt from the requirement to hold an Australian financial services licence under the Corporations Act 2001 in respect of the financial services by operation of ASIC Class Order 03/1100: U.S. SEC regulated financial service providers. Hamilton Lane Advisors, L.L.C. is regulated by the SEC under U.S. laws, which differ from Australian laws. 

Any tables, graphs or charts relating to past performance included in this presentation are intended only to illustrate the performance of the indices, composites, specific accounts or funds referred to for the historical periods shown. Such tables, graphs and charts are not intended to predict future performance and should not be used as the basis for an investment decision. 

The information herein is not intended to provide, and should not be relied upon for, accounting, legal or tax advice, or investment recommendations. You should consult your accounting, legal, tax or other advisors about the matters discussed herein. 

The calculations contained in this document are made by Hamilton Lane based on information provided by the general partner (e.g. cash flows and valuations), and have not been prepared, reviewed or approved by the general partners. 

As of March 10, 2020

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