Guardian Smart Infrastructure Management (GSIM) is a direct private infrastructure investment business focused on investing in the growing number of opportunities and projects that integrate technological innovations to enhance the productivity of new and existing global infrastructure assets.
Smart Infrastructure typically combines physical assets ‒ such as sensors, communications networks and interactive terminals ‒ with new operating and utilization solutions; often delivered through software sales and service agreements on a continuing/multi-year basis. Capital is typically required to develop and enhance these smart infrastructure asset-based solutions, and to acquire and grow solution providers. Accordingly, new and accelerating investment opportunities range from concessions to deliver smart city solutions, to acquisition and growth capital for smart infrastructure-focused businesses.
Concessions and operating company service and software contracts can offer medium- to longer-term contracted/stable cash flow, often at high operating margins, and significantly accelerated payback periods than traditional infrastructure investments. The value provided by many smart infrastructure operating companies to their customers often leads to extended incumbency, further improving a portfolio investment’s ability to protect margins and effectively combat competitive and market threats. Taken together, GSIM believes these characteristics can offer a similar risk reward profile to traditional core infrastructure, combining appropriate downside protection with upside, value creation potential.
GSIM believes smart infrastructure represents a transformational cross-over investment opportunity for both private equity and traditional infrastructure investors, from the digitalization of existing transportation assets – such as transit systems, ports and airports – and electrification of vehicles and the advent of driverless cars, to the growth of smart grids, smart waste management, and entire smart cities.