The CIO at VolkswagenStiftung this week revealed a number of reasons why the €2.7bn German charitable foundation is finding it difficult to allocate capital to infrastructure.
Speaking at the SpänglerIQAM investment seminar in Vienna, Dieter Lehmann cited political risks, private-equity structures and correlations as factors.
“Many of these investments are linked to state subsidies which in fact create an artificial setting,” he told delegates.
He added that the private equity format of many infrastructure investments is a problem for some non-profit organisations in Germany because they “could lose their tax-free status”.
Lehmann said he also was “not really interested in infrastructure” because VolkswagenStiftung’s portfolio already had a well established real estate exposure – at 14.4% as per year-end 2013 – and the two asset classes are “too much correlated”.
In addition to the “strict regulatory requirements” associated with investing in infrastructure, Lehmann also mentioned that many new funds that had set up in the sector had experienced difficulties in sourcing investments.
The comments coincided with an announcement from German alternatives manager Yielco that it had raised €155m from German insurers and pension funds for its first infrastructure fund of funds.