The Dreyfus Corporation, the mutual fund arm of BNY Mellon Investment Management, and CenterSquare Investment Management have launched the Dreyfus Global Infrastructure Fund which provides individual investors with the opportunity to invest in the growth potential of infrastructure assets that connect people, resources, trade, goods and services and information around the world.
With developed nations looking to improve or replace aging infrastructure assets, and many emerging markets countries building out their infrastructure to grow their economies, the World Economic Forum estimates that $100 trillion will be invested in global infrastructure between 2010 and 20301. Traditionally, most infrastructure projects have been financed by the public sector. However, with public debt historically high versus GDP, more private capital will be required to fund future investment, giving investors increasing opportunities to benefit from an infrastructure allocation in their portfolios.
CenterSquare Investment Management, the sub-adviser for the fund, is a BNY Mellon Investment Management boutique specializing in real asset investing. CenterSquare cites a number of factors driving the need for infrastructure investment globally, including new sources of renewable energy, the discovery and utilization of new oil and gas deposits, and technological advances in communications, among others. Underpinning the demand for these assets is a growing and increasingly urban population and an expanding middle class, adding more consumers and increasing world trade.
Todd Briddell, chief executive officer and chief investment officer for CenterSquare, said, "We expect that there will be tremendous global demand for infrastructure assets over the next few decades. Companies that build and operate infrastructure assets are likely to see a significant benefit from the economic and secular trends to rehabilitate aging infrastructure and create new infrastructure to meet growing demand. As a result, listed infrastructure companies will increasingly take on a more significant role in the development and ownership of these assets."
Briddell added, "Our investment focus will be on companies managing real assets with strong cash flow visibility, low direct commodity exposure, long duration contracts, and a steady long-term demand outlook. The Dreyfus Global Infrastructure Fund will give investors exposure to this dynamic and expanding sector, while seeking to provide a growth alternative which may complement other equity asset classes."
Managing an infrastructure strategy is a natural extension of CenterSquare's expertise in listed real estate and real assets, said Briddell, who added, "As in listed real estate, the return and risk characteristics of global infrastructure securities are based on the underlying real assets."
The launch of the Dreyfus Global Infrastructure Fund follows the December 2014 launch of CenterSquare's infrastructure strategy for institutional investors.
The primary portfolio managers for the fund are Maneesh Chhabria, who was instrumental in the development of CenterSquare's global real estate investment trust (REIT) platform in 2006, and Joshua B. Kohn, a real assets investment specialist with more than 13 years of investment experience.