How are platforms that connect institutional investors with borrowers and banks for infrastructure funding structured in terms of clients, owners, feeds charged, legal structures?”

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How are platforms that connect institutional investors with borrowers and banks for infrastructure funding structured in terms of clients, owners, feeds charged, legal structures?”

Introduction

I found four investment platforms in the infrastructure funding space that are available in either the UK, the US, or both: Rabble, Aladdin, Pensions Infrastructure Platform (PiP), and Centricus.

You asked specifically for platforms for institutional investors. Two of the platforms, Rabble and Centricus, are vague on who their investors are. Rabble seems to be targeting individual investors, with its minimum initial investment of $100. On the other hand, Centricus describes itself as “backed by a select group of sophisticated, global and long term oriented investors.” I chose to include Rabble and Centricus as neither platform explicitly excludes institutional investors.

Each platform's targeted investors, targeted borrowers, legal structure, and fees charged are listed below. When information is not publicly available, this is noted.

Rabble

Rabble is an investment platform based in New York City. They aim to connect “Project Founders” with “Project Backers”.

Targeted Investors

Rabble appeals to individual investors by stating, “Investors can start with as little as $100.” However, there is no language on Rabble’s website that excludes institutional investors.

Targeted Borrowers

Rabble does not list specific borrowers or projects on their website, therefore the success or failure rate of their initiatives could not be determined. However, their site indicates that they invest in the following categories: “Industrial scale urban vegetable farms, grocery co-ops in low access areas, net zero housing, creative reuse of abandoned warehouses that serve community needs, educational spaces, museums, and performance venues.”

Legal Structure

A Project Backer’s money only goes towards the project they have specified, so funds are never commingled. A third-party called Synapse holds all Project Backer funds until the minimum investing threshold is met for a specific project.

Fees Charged

If a project meets its funding target, Rabble will charge the Project Founder a one-time project placement fee. Rabble does not disclose the amount of the project placement fee. Project Backers are not charged fees.

Aladdin

Aladdin is an investing platform from BlackRock, whose assets include: renewables, transport, energy, power, and social infrastructure. BlackRock is a global company, with 33 offices worldwide, including the U.S.

Targeted Investors

BlackRock's investors are: “Corporate and Public defined benefit plans, Defined contribution plans, Insurance companies and financial institutions, Family office, Foundations and endowments, and Official institutions.”

Targeted Borrowers

Infrastructure projects BlackRock has invested in include:
Two offshore wind projects in the UK; “structured financing of train rolling stock company” in Germany; and street lighting in Michigan.

Legal Structure & Fees Charged

This information is not publicly available.

Pensions Infrastructure Platform (PiP)

PiP is entirely UK-based. They state they "have been set up by pension schemes for pension schemes." PiP invests solely in UK infrastructure.

Targeted Investors
PiP states it is, “Open to all UK pension schemes and has a low minimum investment hurdle to allow smaller schemes to participate.”

Targeted Borrowers

PiP aims to invest a minimum of £2 billion into UK infrastructure" in the following categories: housing, hospitals, schools, communications, utilities, renewable energy and transportation.

Legal Structure

This information is not publicly available.

Fees Charged

The only mention of fees on PiP's website is, "Fees reflect the true cost of operation and the benefits of increasing scale will continue to accrue to investors."

Centricus

Centricus is a UK-based platform that invests globally. There is minimal information provided on their website.

Targeted Investors

Centricus describes its investors as "a select group of sophisticated, global and long term oriented investors."

Targeted Borrowers

Not explicitly stated. However, a June 2017 article reports that Centricus acquired a 30% stake in infrastructure investment company, Global Investment Holdings. GIH focuses on ports and clean energy spaces.

Legal Structure & Fees Charged:

This information is not publicly stated.

Conclusion

I provided four investment platforms in the infrastructure investment space: Rabble, Aladdin, Pensions Infrastructure Platform (PiP), and Centricus. All four platforms are available in the US, the UK, or both. These platforms run the gamut from a $100 initial investment (Rabble), all the way to being “backed by a select group of sophisticated, global and long term oriented investors” (Centricus).

While Rabble and Centricus are vague on who their investors are, I could not find any language that excluded institutional investors. I found that none of the platforms publicly state their exact fees. Rabble was the only platform that discussed its legal structure.
Sources
Sources