Bayfront Infrastructure Management (“BIM”) was established in 2019 in connection with the Infrastructure Take-Out Facility initiative, which was designed and structured by Clifford Capital to help mobilise institutional capital for infrastructure debt in Asia. The establishment of BIM builds on the successful issuance of Asia’s first securitisation of project finance and infrastructure loans through Bayfront Infrastructure Capital (“BIC”) in 2018.
BIM’s objective is to address the infrastructure financing gap in the Asia-Pacific region. This will be achieved by creating a new investable asset class to facilitate the mobilisation of private institutional capital into the infrastructure financing market. It will unlock capital for infrastructure financing by facilitating the recycling of capital and liquidity by banks, who have traditionally been the largest lenders in this sector.
BIM is expected to be capitalised at US$1.98 billion, comprising US$180 million in equity and US$1.8 billion in debt issuance capacity. The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (“AIIB”) will invest US$54 million, representing 30% of BIM’s equity capital, with the remaining US$126 million contributed by a new holding company to be established by Clifford Capital.
Clifford Capital is a specialist provider of project and structured finance solutions established with support from the Government of Singapore to address gaps in project financing markets, assisting the internationalisation of Singapore-based companies in the infrastructure and maritime sectors. It also seeks to catalyse further development of a capital market in Singapore focused on the infrastructure sector. Clifford Capital’s shareholders comprise DBS Bank, John Hancock Life Insurance Company (Manulife), Prudential Assurance Company Singapore, Standard Chartered Bank, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation and Temasek Holdings.
Premod P. Thomas
Chief Executive Officer
Premod Thomas is the Chief Executive Officer of Bayfront Infrastructure Management Pte Ltd. He was previously Head of Corporate Strategy at parent company, Clifford Capital Pte Ltd, where he was responsible for the conceptualisation and execution of the inaugural Infrastructure Take-Out Facility by Bayfront Infrastructure Capital in July 2018, which was the first ever securitisation of project finance and infrastructure loans in Asia. He also led the corporate reorganisation of Clifford Capital which resulted in the formation of an apex holding structure with diversified underlying group businesses.
Prior to Clifford Capital, he spent a number of years with Bank of America, Standard Chartered Bank and the Temasek Group focusing on corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions and new businesses. He has lived and worked in India, Indonesia, UK, USA, Malaysia and Singapore.
Mr. Thomas is a member of the Singapore Institute of Directors and is an Independent Director and Member of the Audit and Risk Committee of Singapore-listed Mapletree Commercial Trust Ltd, Independent Director and Chairman of the Risk Oversight Committee of Fullerton India Credit Company Ltd, Independent Chairman of the Investment Committee of MGSA Private Trust and Independent Director of Gemstone Asset Holdings Pte Ltd, Singapore. He is additionally an Executive Director of Bayfront Infrastructure Management Pte Ltd and BIM Asset Management Pte Ltd.
He holds an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad and a Bachelor of Commerce from Loyola College, India.
- Strategic leadership and vision
- Joined Clifford Capital in 2016
- Executive leadership in large Asian Groups with a focus on corporate finance, M&A, new business development and governance
- Prior experience with Bank of America, Standard Chartered Bank and Temasek Holdings in Corporate and Private Banking and strategic Financial Institution investments
Chief Risk Officer
Richard Desai is the Chief Risk Officer of Bayfront Infrastructure Management, as well as the Chief Risk Officer of Clifford Capital Pte Ltd.
Prior to joining Clifford Capital in November 2012, he was an Executive Director at JPMorgan's Credit Risk Management group in Hong Kong. His 22-year career at JPMorgan covered various areas in the investment bank with the last 12 years within the Credit Risk Management group. He has had extensive exposure across multiple industries throughout the Asia Pacific region, with a particular focus on structured financings (including project and leveraged/acquisition finance), debt restructurings (both from an advisory and workout perspective) and principal investment (including mezzanine financing and equity investments).
A Canadian and British national, Mr. Desai holds a Bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley.
- Executive leadership in credit and risk management
- Joined Clifford Capital in 2012
- 22 years with JP Morgan: 12 years in credit risk, 10 years in front office
- Extensive structured financing and credit experience in the Asia Pacific region
Chief Operating Officer
Nicholas Tan is the Chief Operating Officer of Bayfront Infrastructure Management, responsible for all structuring and distribution activities. He was previously a Senior Director in Corporate Strategy at Clifford Capital, where he was responsible for leading corporate finance and new business development execution. Nicholas led the structuring, execution and management of the inaugural Bayfront Infrastructure Capital transaction in July 2018, which was the first ever securitisation of project finance and infrastructure loans out of the Asia-Pacific region.
Before joining Clifford Capital in December 2016, he was with Bank of America Merrill Lynch, covering the Energy, Infrastructure, Power and Utilities sectors for the investment banking division, where he led in origination and execution of capital markets (debt and equity) and M&A transactions for Southeast Asia. He was previously in investment banking with Standard Chartered Bank, covering the Asia mining and metals sector.
Mr. Tan has executed over 50 transactions across investment grade, high yield, perpetual, convertible and exchangeable bond issuances, IPOs and rights issues, buyside and sellside M&A transactions.
He holds a Bachelor of Accountancy and Bachelor of Business Management (Summa Cum Laude) from the Singapore Management University.
- Executive leadership in deal structuring and distribution
- Joined Clifford Capital in 2016
- Prior experience with Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Standard Chartered Bank
- Extensive experience in debt and equity capital raising and M&A advisory
Mobilising Institutional Capital for Infrastructure in Asia
Significant gap in Asia’s infrastructure financing needs and increasing requirements for private sector funding have created a need for long-term institutional capital
According to the Asian Development Bank (“ADB”), Asia will need approximately US$1.34 trillion annually in infrastructure financing between 2016 and 2020 to sustain economic growth, of which the investment gap (including climate change-related expenditure) is approximately US$455 billion, equivalent to 2.4% of the region’s GDP from 2016 to 2020.
More investments are needed to sustain the high economic growth in Asia, as well as to address the increasing urgency of infrastructure-related climate change mitigation and adaptation. Developing Asia therefore requires sufficient and affordable financing for future infrastructure development.
Note: (1) Adjusted for expected increase in infrastructure funding due to climate change effects. (2) Selected countries only. South Asia:
Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Nepal; Southeast Asia: Brunei, Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar,
Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam; Central Asia: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan,
Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan. (3) For 24 selected ADB developing member countries: Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Mongolia, Afghanistan,
Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Fiji,
Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Papua New Guinea.
Source: Asian Development Bank (ADB), 2017 – Meeting Asia’s Infrastructure Needs. © ADB. https://www.adb.org/sites/default/files/publication/227496/special-report-infrastructure.pdf (CC BY 3.0 IGO).
As of 2016/17, approximately 70% of infrastructure investment in Asia was financed by the public sector, which is unsustainable if the demand for infrastructure is to be met. In the private sector, infrastructure financing is currently dominated by commercial banks, export credit agencies (“ECAs”) and multilateral financial institutions (“MFIs”).
Unlocking and encouraging private sector involvement is the key to addressing the infrastructure financing gap in Asia
Private sector investment in infrastructure has not been constrained by a shortage of funds; in fact, of the estimated US$50 trillion in private capital managed globally by sovereign wealth funds, insurance companies, pension funds and other institutional investors, only 0.8% has been allocated to infrastructure in recent years. Moreover, the Asia-Pacific region is characterised by high saving rates which suggests an abundant and growing pool of capital to be deployed for investment.
There is significant potential for increasing private sector participation in infrastructure financing. Private investors stand to benefit from infrastructure as a separate asset class that improves portfolio diversification, stemming from its economic characteristics including high barriers to entry, economies of scale, inelastic demand for infrastructure-enabled services, high operating margins and the long tenors of concession agreements and leases. Infrastructure investments in turn offer value through attractive returns, low sensitivity to business cycles, low correlation of returns with other asset classes and stable and predictable long-term cashflows.
Nonetheless, private sector involvement in Asian infrastructure financing has been low relative to more advanced economies in North America and Europe. The ADB estimated that as of 2015, the public sector provided over 90% of Developing Asia’s overall infrastructure investment, which amounts to 5.1% of annual GDP, far above the 0.4% of GDP coming from the private sector.
Moreover, the split between public and private sector investment rates varies widely across subregions and economies.
While regional governments in Asia have increased their infrastructure expenditure and will likely continue to do so, for instance through fiscal reform on tax revenues and expenditures, there is still a substantial gap to be filled by the private sector. The ADB estimated that for 24 selected developing member countries, public sector fiscal reforms would be able to cover 39% of the US$308 billion financing gap (incorporating climate change induced funding requirements) over the period of 2016-2020, which leaves the remaining 61% to be filled by private sector finance in the absence of new avenues for generating additional public sector resources.
More private sector financing, beyond banks, is required to address the gap
Commercial banks have traditionally been, and still are the predominant source of private sector financing for infrastructure projects. However banks are increasingly facing constraints in their ability to bridge the financing gap, due to regulatory constraints such as risk exposure limits, more penal credit risk charges for longer tenor lending, specialised lending and pre-operational phase project finance lending under the Basel III framework.
Institutional non-bank investors are therefore best-placed to step in to fill the financing gap, particularly those seeking longer tenor assets to match their long-term liabilities. However many of such investors are reluctant or not ready to deploy their capital, mainly due to lack of familiarity with the infrastructure asset class especially in Asia, and limited ability to take project construction risk given their preference for stable returns.
The Infrastructure Take-Out Facility (“TOF”)
The TOF has been designed with a view to providing investors with exposure to a diversified portfolio of project and infrastructure loans across multiple geographies and sectors, and positioned to fulfil several strategic objectives, including:
- addressing Asia-Pacific’s infrastructure financing gap by mobilising a new pool of institutional capital;
- unlocking additional capital for Asia-Pacific infrastructure financing through facilitating capital recycling by banks
- creating a new asset class for institutional investors to access project and infrastructure loans in Asia-Pacific and the Middle East regions in a credit-enhanced structure; and
- addressing existing market frictions that prevent large scale mobilisation of institutional capital for infrastructure financings, thereby facilitating institutional participation in the project finance asset class in a readily accessible manner.
The TOF Value Proposition
What We Do
BIM’s policy mandate and corporate objective is to help address the infrastructure financing gap in the Asia-Pacific region through the creation of a new asset class that:
- Facilitates the mobilisation of institutional capital into infrastructure financing by addressing existing market frictions; and
- Unlocks additional capital for new infrastructure financing through facilitating capital recycling by banks and enabling banks to continue engaging in the project finance business.
BIM’s primary business activities involve:
- acquisition, warehousing and management of a portfolio of project and infrastructure loans;
- sponsoring, structuring and managing all future distributions (through securitisation or otherwise) of these loans to institutional investors; and
- investing in the equity tranche or vertical slice of each securitisation issuance that we sponsor.