SMSFs a ‘holy grail’ for infrastructure investment

SMSFs can increasingly gain exposure to infrastructure in order to combat the “competitive advantage” of industry funds according to Vanguard.

 

Speaking at the SMSF Professionals Association of Australia (SPAA) national conference in Brisbane yesterday, Vanguard Investments head of strategy and communications Robin Bowerman, who is also a SPAA board member, said the SMSF industry is increasingly interested in the infrastructure asset class.

“Infrastructure is an important topic around the SPAA board table because ... superannuation funds, particularly industry funds, use [investment in infrastructure] as a competitive advantage,” Mr Bowerman said.

Addressing the topic ‘Is infrastructure a holy grail for SMSFs?, AMP Capital head of infrastructure, Australia and New Zealand, Paul Foster said the opposite might be more accurate.

“Perhaps the better question is, ‘Are SMSFs the holy grail for infrastructure?’” Mr Foster said. “SMSF is a large and growing pool of capital [and] very suited to infrastructure investment; AMP Capital is looking to help SMSF investors get access [to that asset class].”

Mr Foster said that when SMSF investors are looking to gain portfolio exposure to infrastructure, it is important to be aware that infrastructure “is not a homogenous asset class”.

He also pointed out that there are a number of options for investing in infrastructure, including listed and unlisted funds.

AMP Capital’s approach to SMSF investment in infrastructure is a “best of both worlds” philosophy whereby you “combine both listed and unlisted exposure”, Mr Foster said.

“We think this is an interesting way for SMSF and individual investors to gain access”, despite having smaller investible funds than institutional investors.”

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