Best In Class  

Best in Class: VT Gravis UK Infrastructure Income

Best in Class: VT Gravis UK Infrastructure Income

The top line figures would tell you the past decade has been a good one for investors, but a world of low-interest rates and hyper-sensitive markets has made it anything but a smooth ride.

There have been major challenges for investors, as they have searched for a higher income in a low-interest rate world, while also looking for both diversification and investments with defensive qualities to protect on the downside.

Many have, as a result, been looking increasingly at alternatives.

Infrastructure has fit the bill for many.

The defensive nature of infrastructure is emphasised by its link to inflation, courtesy of regulation, concession agreements or contracts, meaning companies can often pass inflation increases to customers.

But the headline attraction is the income, with many infrastructure funds coming to market with attractive and sustainable yields, at the time when retail investors needed them most.

The result is infrastructure (both listed and unlisted) has moved from being the domain of the institutional investor to becoming a firm favourite in the retail market.

The long-term argument for infrastructure investing is simple: it always has to be built or renewed and gives exposure to services with strong pricing power and high barriers to entry.

Roads, railways, airports, water, gas, electricity, oil and gas pipelines, telecom towers and satellites - infrastructure is essential to our everyday lives, and our economic activity.

We have seen a number of successful launches in the past decade, which have supported the trend by delivering strong income and growth to investors, including this week’s best in class.

The VT Gravis UK infrastructure Income fund launched in January 2016.

It was the first UK vehicle to offer investors access to the UK listed infrastructure sector through an open-ended structure.

It invests in investment companies, direct equities, fixed income and Real Estate Investment Trusts.

Gravis specialises in infrastructure and renewables and has a successful track record.

The firm launched in 2008 and now manages in excess of £4bn in a range of private, Ucits and closed-ended funds in the US, Australia, Europe and the UK.

Will Argent is the fund adviser.

Mr Argent joined Gravis in 2017, having previously worked as an analyst in the private wealth management sector for more than a decade.

During that time his role included the analysis and recommendation of direct equities and closed-end investment vehicles for client portfolios, setting asset allocation and strategy, and the management of open-ended funds.

He specifically targets companies with a sustainable yield, inflation-hedging characteristics, sustainable valuations and low relative volatility.

He also values holdings with a certain level of liquidity.

Around two thirds of the VT Gravis UK Infrastructure Income fund invests in investment trusts exposed to different types of infrastructure.

These include the likes of hospitals and schools (public social infrastructure), GP surgeries and student accommodation (private social infrastructure) as well as solar power and wind turbines (renewable energy infrastructure).