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The hunt for infrastructure fundraisers: Hot demand, scarce talent

8/29/2018 Marcus De Luca and Golnaz Yekrangian
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In our article, “Bolstering talent and leadership in infrastructure asset management,” we discussed the challenges facing infrastructure investment firms in sourcing and hiring asset management professionals. The challenges associated with infrastructure fundraisers are even more acute.

Demand for senior fundraising professionals in North America and Continental Europe has surged over the past year and is accelerating in Asia Pacific as well. This is hardly surprising, as the infrastructure asset class is hot now and projected to keep sizzling for at least the next decade: cumulative global infrastructure spending between 2016 and 2025 is expected to reach $27.3 trillion,1 and among the major alternative investment sectors, global assets under management (AUM) are expected to nearly quintuple (470%) for infrastructure during the same period.2 

It’s fair to say that demand for infrastructure fundraisers is at an all-time high and will continue to soar as fund managers (i.e., general partners) prepare for the next round of fundraising, typically onboarding talent 12–18 months ahead of launch to plan their investment thesis and value-creation strategy.

But there’s a major hurdle to overcome. The pool of experienced infrastructure fundraisers is small because the asset class, despite its expected growth, is relatively young and dwarfed by its main—and more established—competitors for capital: infrastructure accounts for just 6% of global alternative AUM,3 compared to 47% for private equity, 33% for hedge funds, and 12% for real estate.

While the supply/demand imbalance is the primary challenge faced by fund managers seeking top-shelf fundraising talent, it’s not the only one. Relatively few people have the ideal profile of experience and skills required to excel at the job.

In this article, we describe the most desirable characteristics a potential fundraiser should possess, where to find this in-demand talent, and how to avoid making the wrong fundraising hire.

The good news is that these challenges are manageable, and firms that are committed to hiring an ace fundraiser will position themselves to succeed.


To read the full article, flip through the interactive above or click the download button for the PDF.


About the authors

Marcus De Luca (mdeluca@heidrick.com) is a partner in Heidrick & Struggles’ London office; he leads the global Infrastructure Sector.

Golnaz Yekrangian (gyekrangian@heidrick.com) is a principal in the Toronto office, where she covers infrastructure for the Financial Services Practice in the Americas.

References

1 Oxford Economics and Global Infrastructure Hub, Global Infrastructure Outlook, July 2017.

2 PwC, Asset & Wealth Management Revolution: Embracing Exponential Change, October 2017.

3 As of year-end 2016, PwC, Asset & Wealth Management Revolution: Embracing Exponential Change, October 2017.

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Accelerating performance in investment management

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Marcus De Luca Partner +44 20 70754000
Golnaz Yekrangian Principal +1 416 3614700

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