Aberdeen Standard Investments (ASI) is pleased to announce that common shares of a new closed-end fund, Aberdeen Standard Global Infrastructure Income Fund (NYSE: ASGI), have commenced trading today. The Fund raised $177,000,000 (or 8,850,000 common shares at $20.00 per share). In addition, the Fund has granted the underwriters a 45-day option to purchase up to an additional 1,327,500 common shares at the public offering price to cover overallotments, if any. If the underwriters exercise that option in full, the Fund will have raised $203,550,000. The offering is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close on July 31, 2020.
The Fund will actively invest in both public and private infrastructure equity investments around the world, making it distinct from any currently available ETF or open-ended mutual fund in the United States. It will offer the diversification benefits of investing in private infrastructure, an option typically available only to institutional investors. The Fund’s objective is to seek to provide a high level of total return with an emphasis on current income.
Infrastructure investments have historically offered attractive characteristics such as lower correlation and volatility compared to broader asset classes, and potentially resilient sources of income due to their essential nature in supporting society.
Infrastructure has once again been thrown into the spotlight by policymakers looking to stimulate economies impacted by the recent coronavirus pandemic. China’s State Council recently announced an intention to spend $1.4 trillion by 2025 as part of a “New Infrastructure” campaign. In the United States, both Republicans and Democrats agree there is a need for large scale infrastructure spending, with both sides of the aisle putting forward spending proposals over $1 trillion. Meanwhile, the European Commission has announced €750 billion in stimulus measures, and Germany’s government has proposed an additional €130 billion, both of which include elements of infrastructure investment.
Aberdeen Standard Investments Head of Product & Client Solutions for Americas Alan Goodson comments: “Private infrastructure investment is generally reserved for institutional investors so we are pleased to be able to offer the opportunity to access ASI’s strategy in the asset class to a wider range of investors with the launch of this new closed-end fund. ASI believes now is an excellent time to be investing in infrastructure as governments around the world are looking to infrastructure investment as a way to stimulate their economies coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic. The World Economic Forum estimates that there is already a USD $18 trillion shortfall in infrastructure investment globally. If we stand any chance of filling that gap then we need to find new ways of releasing the necessary capital.”
The Fund will typically invest in assets across communications (e.g., wireless telecommunications services), utilities (e.g., electric transmission and distribution lines), transport (e.g., toll roads), energy (e.g., pipelines) and social (e.g., hospitals). Under normal circumstances, the majority of its allocation will be to public infrastructure equity in developed markets. The Fund does not currently intend to use leverage, intends to declare and pay distributions monthly and has a management fee of 1.35% of managed assets.
ASI is well placed to manage the Fund because of the combination of its public and private equity infrastructure teams. The public equity infrastructure investment team is composed of 155 investment professionals based in 10 countries globally, with a strong almost 12 year track record in global listed infrastructure equity investments and approximately $10 billion invested in listed infrastructure as of December 31, 2019. The private infrastructure team is part of a wider real assets team of more than 40 investment professionals globally, including six in the United States who have been investing in private infrastructure for over 10 years and collectively manage over $5 billion in infrastructure assets for institutional clients as of December 31, 2019.
ASGI will join ASI’s existing range of 10 U.S. listed closed-end funds and 2 sub-advised US listed closed-end funds with $4.9bn AUM that it has managed for up to 20 years. These funds sit alongside 24 UK listed closed-end funds and 1 Canada listed closed-end fund with combined $13bn AUM. ASI is the 6th largest manager of listed closed-end funds globally measured by AUM. All AUM figures sourced from Morningstar, as of July 28, 2020.
About Aberdeen Standard Investments
- Aberdeen Standard Investments is a leading global asset manager dedicated to creating long-term value for our clients.
- With over 1,000 investment professionals, we manage $644.5 billion* of assets worldwide. We have clients in 80 countries supported by 50 relationship offices. This ensures we are close to our clients and the markets in which they invest.
- We are high-conviction, long-term investors who believe teamwork and collaboration are the key to delivering repeatable, strong investment performance.
- Aberdeen Standard Investments is the asset management business of Standard Life Aberdeen plc, one of the world’s largest investment companies.
- Standard Life Aberdeen plc is headquartered in Scotland. It has around 1.2 million shareholders and is listed on the London Stock Exchange. The Standard Life Aberdeen group was formed by the merger of Standard Life plc and Aberdeen Asset Management PLC on August 14, 2017.
* Standard Life Aberdeen AUM as of December 31, 2019.