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Social infrastructure : from Challenge to Opportunity for Investors

Human capital, a key driver of resilience and productivity,  is largely underpinned by social infrastructure; the facilities, buildings and intangible assets that serve to generate key collective services in healthcare, education or affordable housing. Social infrastructure is also a critical enabler for a fair transition to  sustainable development model.

So, it should be a concern to everybody that overall, the stock of social infrastructure has not kept pace with the needs of populations, in advanced economies and emerging ones alike. Chronic public underinvestment has generated an investment gap over time, where available assets are no longer sufficient and fit for the kind of use needed, not to mention future needs linked to big demographic and societal trends at play. This was cruelly highlighted during the COVID crisis, when healthcare and education infrastructure had to adapt to unprecedented circumstances.

This is where we, at  LTIIA,  believe the private sector has an important role to play: as the public sector is increasingly  overstretched and constrained by  deficit and debt  issues , there is a room  for more and better private sector involvement. Moreover, social infrastructure investments hold potential for increased allocation by institutional investors seeking diversification into low-risk, regular income assets. Long term private investors have long started investing in those assets, but the potential – and the need – for ramp up remains huge. Drawing on the vast pool of experience and contributions of LTIIA members, this report analyses the current constraints and current challenges limiting institutional investors’ share of the market. It then formulates recommendations to the various stakeholders – policy decision-makers, regulators and Development banks, as well as institutional investors – so as to better and further develop this market in what should be a win-win approach for society at large.

Research on infrastructure benchmarking

For several years, LTIIA and its founding members have been sponsoring research at http://edhec.infrastructure.institute/ into the nature, benchmarking and valuation of long-term investments in infrastructure. Check out some of results to date.