Real estate investment firm GTIS Partners is expanding its business model with the launch of an infrastructure investment platform in Brazil, to exploit the country’s economic growth.

The $4.7bn (€4.06bn) real estate manager said it has hired Eduardo Klepacz to head the new infrastructure investment team in Sao Paulo. Klepacz is a former CEO of Cubico Brazil, a renewable energy generator.

Joshua Pristaw, a senior managing director and co-head of GTIS in Brazil, said: “Brazil’s economy is recovering, which in turn has triggered an increase in demand for additional infrastructure.

“There’s more need now than at any time in the recent past for power, data centres, broadband and other infrastructure-related resources, but Brazil’s fiscal crisis has dampened the federal government’s ability to fund that buildout, creating an opportunity for private sector investment.”

In Brazil, GTIS has so far invested around $2.5bn into residential, office, hotel and industrial/logistics assets. GTIS also has assets in the US.

“Given our existing relationships with technology and telecom companies in our commercial office real estate business, we believe we are well-positioned to explore critical infrastructure opportunities with these counterparties,” Pristaw said.

Joao Teixeira, a co-head of GTIS in Brazil, said: “President Michel Temer’s administration enacted a series of regulatory reforms to incentivize private sector investment in Brazil’s infrastructure, making it more attractive to firms like GTIS to participate in the country’s economic resurgence.”

Teixeira said GTIS sees “tremendous opportunity in renewable energy and have been studying it for years as we looked to meet the cost and sustainability goals of our real estate tenants.“

Tom Shapiro, the president and CIO of GTIS, said: “Infrastructure and real estate investing share a lot in common. Both require capital, and operating and development expertise and both rely heavily on an insider’s understanding of this market’s complexities, compliance, and risk controls, as well as being able to identify the most compelling investment opportunities.

“Given our long experience in Brazil, we’re able to operate from a position of strength right out of the gate as we create an institutional infrastructure investment platform for our global institutional investors.”

The infrastructure team will identify investment opportunities in power generation and transmission, particularly renewable energy, as well as technology and telecom-critical components, including data centres, digital broadband, and cell towers.

Klepacz said: “We’re experiencing escalating demand for power, data, digital storage, and broadband, and our roads and ports are busier than ever.

“The headwinds faced by the government in funding the buildout of Brazil’s infrastructure have created abundant opportunities for us.”