Former SL Capital infra team hiring to plug gap 

22 February 2019 - 12:00 am UTC

Aberdeen Standard Investments is understood to be seeking to add two new members of staff to its infrastructure investment team following the departure of Nicholas Ritter from the firm this month, Inframation can reveal.

The London-headquartered team is understood to be looking to add two new investment managers to the team headed by Dominic Helmsley following Ritter’s move to InfraVia Capital Partners this month, sources said.

Ritter joined the then SL Capital Partners infrastructure team in April 2017 and served as an investment manager focused on sourcing, due diligence and monitoring investments according to his Linkedin profile.

It is understood that Ritter’s directorships in the manager’s Moorgate, East Anglia and South Western rolling stock investments in the UK have been taken over by independent rail adviser Roger McDonald.

The news follows the departure in November 2017 of SL Capital Partners investment director and equity partner Jason Cogley and a slightly slower than anticipated fundraise for the manager’s second infrastructure fund.

Aberdeen Standard Investments launched a EUR 800m fundraising process for SL Capital Infrastructure Fund II (SLCI II) at the end of 2017, just four months after Standard Life completed the takeover of Aberdeen Asset Management.

The fund – SL Capital Infrastructure Fund II – was launched with a fundraising target of EUR 800m and an anticipated hard cap of EUR 1bn.

According to one senior industry source the fund was aiming to have signed up some EUR 400m by the end of December, following a first close in the region of EUR 180m to EUR 200m earlier that year.

LPs known to have backed the fund include the local government pension schemes (LGPS) of West Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire with commitments of EUR 35m and EUR 20m respectively. 

London Stock Exchange-listed Aberdeen Diversified Income and Growth Trust has also committed EUR 28.5m to the fund.

Aberdeen Standard Investments target a net IRR in the region of 8-10%. Untypically, the manager charges a flat fee on the net asset value (NAV) of the fund that does not include a fee on uninvested capital commitments.

The manager’s second fund is also understood to charge a performance fee of eight percent over an eight percent hurdle.  

The fundraise is being co-ordinated internally by Aberdeen Standard Investments. While Burgess Paul is advising on the legal aspects of fund structuring.

The fund, which is the first euro-denominated infrastructure fund managed by the team, targets investments in mid-market core infrastructure assets with an enterprise value of up to EUR 1.5bn.

The vehicle targets investments in gas and electricity, ports, airports, renewables and water assets predominantly in the UK and Northern and Western Europe.

The fund is structured as a 12-year fund with an optional five-year rolling extension and a three-year wind down period.

To-date the fund has made one investment: the acquisition of a 49% stake in municipally-owned Finnish district heating business Riihimäen Kaukolämpö Oy for a reported EUR 51m.

The transaction was the team’s second deal inside 2018, having completed a bolt-on acquisition in the Dutch North Sea pipeline system Noordgastransport (NGT) through its first infrastructure fund, SL Capital Infrastructure I (SLCI I). 

SL Capital Partners held a GBP 516m final close of SL Capital Infrastructure I in February 2017, exceeding its GBP 400m target by GBP 116m.

As of October 2018 the manager had drawn 71% of capital commitments and had a reported net IRR of 12.1% as of June 2018 according to a document published by Aberdeen Standard Investments.

Helmsley heads the team as managing director of infrastructure and works alongside senior investment director Maciej Tarasiuk. They are supported by investment managers Alex Anderson and Nicholas Flynn among others.

Neither Aberdeen Standard Investments or Nicholas Ritter responded to requests for comment.


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