SMSF Awards 2017: Infrastructure winner

Infrastructure assets provide essential services that serve communities around the world. Within a portfolio, infrastructure offers the potential for lower volatility than traditional equities, stable cash flow, inflation protection and global diversification.

“Focusing solely on investing in listed infrastructure means that we don’t have the distractions of other asset classes,” RARE Infrastructure head of Australian retail Steve Williams says.

“As such, we are recognised as thought leaders in the infrastructure asset class, offering specialised knowledge and education to financial services professionals. We do this through quarterly updates, webinars, thought leadership papers, specialised strategy/product material and attending industry conferences and events.”

RARE, a specialist investment manager, uses an investment approach reflected in its name: Risk Adjusted Returns to Equity, with the objective of providing investors access to portfolios of high-quality global infrastructure assets.

“At RARE, we focus on listed infrastructure,” Williams says.

“Within a portfolio, infrastructure offers the potential for lower volatility, stable cash flow, inflation protection and diversification.

“These are publicly traded infrastructure securities such as the shares of electricity, water and airport companies. Recent market uncertainty and volatility have presented attractive opportunities for investors due to the compelling characteristics of the asset class.

“Within a portfolio, infrastructure offers the potential for lower volatility, stable cash flow, inflation protection and diversification.

“As such, advisers are finding that infrastructure assets offer increasingly attractive opportunities in the current low-yielding environment.”

He says RARE has strong relationships across all Australian dealer groups and platforms.

“And, due to increasing demand particularly from the SMSF sector, we are now offering all our actively managed strategies through [the Australian Securities Exchange mFund Settlement Service],” he says.

RARE currently manages three active infrastructure strategies available to advisers and SMSFs: the RARE Infrastructure Value Strategy, Income Strategy and Emerging Markets Strategy.

As at 31 August 2017, RARE employed 49 staff, including 13 investment professionals, making it one of the largest teams of infrastructure investment specialists in the marketplace.

“In the Australian market, we are seeing a growing level of interest in infrastructure and believe it reflects the evolution of the asset class.

Five years ago, financial advisers started to include global listed infrastructure as a core component of their client portfolios,” Williams explains.

“Now those charged with portfolio construction are taking a more granular approach seeking to tailor specific investment outcomes to different types of infrastructure exposure which meet the needs of different types of investors.”

RARE is experiencing significant fund flow into the asset class as advisers and investors embrace the attractive risk-return characteristics infrastructure brings to portfolio construction.

Williams says credit should be attributed to RARE’s collaborative team approach and detailed collateral and support that it provides advisers.

“RARE are delighted and appreciative to the financial advisers in our industy who have recognised our long-term performance and reputation as a global listed infrastructure specialist,” he says.

“We are thrilled to have won this award for a second year in a row and believe it is due to the fact that we are the only global infrastructure specialist who can offer advisers a choice of three distinct infrastructure strategies to meet the needs of their specific clients.”

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