Swiss Life Asset Managers unveils roadmap for infrastructure debt project financing

Swiss Life Asset Managers has expanded its real assets product range to include infrastructure debt financing. 

The asset manager will offer investors the possibility to finance infrastructure projects from conception to operation. Consequently, contributing to the development of infrastructure projects and supporting public entities and private developers.  

With more than EUR3 billion in equity and quasi-equity investments Swiss Life Asset Managers has built a successful infrastructure equity business over the past nine years. Swiss Life Asset Managers is equipped with deep and broad capabilities in the management of global corporate bonds and senior secured loan portfolios. In order to complement these activities and to expand its private market offering, the asset manager has established a dedicated infrastructure debt portfolio management team in Paris. 

Given the attractiveness of the asset class from a risk/return perspective, and its match with the insurance companies’ long-term liabilities, Swiss Life Asset Managers plans to invest EUR1.5 billion in senior debt financing in loans and bonds over the next 3 years. The initial investors will be the Swiss Life Group’s Swiss, French and German insurance companies. 

Subsequently Swiss Life Asset Managers plans to open the infrastructure debt platform to third party clients which allows them to invest alongside an experienced investor with access to an attractive project pipeline. This organic expansion of complementary products is a logical step of Swiss Life Asset Managers’ strategy and underlines its commitment to the infrastructure debt market where over time it has already invested EUR 700 million in externally managed funds and funds run as joint ventures. 

The infrastructure debt team will provide private and public clients with solutions to finance their existing and future projects. First investments under this new framework will be undertaken in 2020. The investment activity will accelerate from 2021 onwards, with first projects located in Europe before entering other markets thereafter. 

The new Head Infrastructure Debt, Stéphane Rainard, leads the team towards its ambitious expansion plans. Stéphane Rainard is an infrastructure asset class specialist and began his career in infrastructure project finance in 1996 at Credit Lyonnais. He later joined Natixis in 2003, where he created and managed the first French PPP/project finance equity fund. Thereafter he held various positions within the Natixis/BPCE Group, ranging from Head of PPPs to senior portfolio management roles at Ostrum Asset Management. Stéphane Rainard reports functionally to Daniel Holtz, Head Credit, who is overseeing the global coordination of the department’s projects and initiatives. The new team is an integral part of Swiss Life Asset Managers’ global Credit organisation comprising Corporate Bonds, Senior Secured Loans and Infrastructure Debt Investments. 

“We are happy to establish this new department which will broaden our activities in the infrastructure asset class and it is perfectly in line with our Environmental, Social and Governance policies. By widening our infrastructure debt financing expertise, we reinforce our long-term commitment to our institutional partners, the public and private decision makers,” says Frédéric Bôl, CEO Swiss Life Asset Managers, France.