MVision expands into infrastructure

The private equity placement agent recently added Michaela Sved, former head of investor relations for Macquarie Infrastructure Partners, to a growing team dedicated to the infrastructure asset class. But the team will focus on more than just fund placement, according to MVision CEO Mounir Guen.

Private equity placement agent MVision is building out a team of professionals dedicated to the infrastructure asset class. But unlike the fund-centric private equity world, MVision’s infrastructure team will focus on providing a much broader array of services to institutional clients.

It's not anymore about doing a fund

Mounir Guen

“We believe fundamentally that over the next five to ten years there will be a significant change in the portfolios of long-term investors to increase exposure to infrastructure assets,” MVision chief executive officer Mounir Guen told Infrastructure Investor in an interview. “But they are not necessarily focused on funds structures,” he added.

In place of traditional fund-style investing – where a pension or sovereign wealth fund dedicates money to a fund manager who then goes out and finds deals – Guen believes institutional investors are looking for a broader array of services. These include separately-managed accounts, direct investments, joint ventures and other forms of gaining exposure to the asset class.

Michaela Sved

“It’s not anymore about doing a fund,” Guen said. So to fit this shift in sentiment among institutional investors, “we’re not necessarily positioning ourselves to raise funds”. MVision is doing that by hiring “people with different backgrounds” that can do everything from placing a fund to structuring a special-purpose vehicle for a direct investment, Guen said.

Most recently, MVision hired Michaela Sved from Macquarie Group to serve as a director in its London office. At Macquarie, Sved served as head of investor relations for Macquarie Infrastructure Partners, Macquarie’s North America-focused unlisted fund management business. Across two funds, Macquarie Infrastructure Partners manages about $5.6 billion in investor commitments.

“Michaela was hired for her infrastructure knowledge,” Guen said.

Prior to Sved, Guen staffed the infrastructure team with Lina Russo, a managing director with experience in direct private equity placement, and Mitchell Sikora, a partner at the firm with a background in real estate placement. Sikora joined the firm last year.

“He was hired for his real estate knowledge,” Guen said.

But individuals with infrastructure, private equity and real estate are all applicable to the infrastructure asset class because “they’re all complementary skills” required to “capture the kind of opportunity” infrastructure will present to investors in the future.

“We’re really focusing on where the investors want to put their capital,” Guen said.