Natixis Investment Managers Private Debt APAC has won a prestigious industry award. The firm was judged the Best Infrastructure Debt Manager at Insurance Asia News' Institutional Asset Management Awards 2022.1

The judges felt that the Natixis entry was particularly strong in view of its commitment to expand its Hong Kong operation and some impressive new mandates won by the infrastructure debt team.

Denis Prouteau, head of the Private Debt Real Assets team at Natixis Investment Managers International, said: “I think Natixis Investment Managers can collectively be proud of this award, acknowledging the quality and proximity of Natixis IM’s marketing and investment teams having worked hands in hands in the region for the last 4 years.”

“Creating and building the team in Hong Kong initially came from our conviction that infrastructure debt portfolio managers needed to be closer to the assets they invest into with APAC promising to become a major investment perimeter, but also closer to Natixis IM investor base, “added Prouteau. “This award is therefore a recognition of years of investment in our APAC offering. Hiring renowned experts into our teams in APAC was essential in helping us to develop a offering range that’s suited to our clients’ evolving needs.”

The awards judges were looking for investment firms with exceptional systems, processes, products and services. They placed an emphasis on innovation, including how asset.

managers are evolving and expanding their investment capability to meet the new demands for yield and low volatility.

Natixis Investment Managers invests some $50 billion for clients in the Asia-Pacific region, through offices in seven Asian countries. It is rare for a global manager to have such a sizeable on-the-ground presence in the region.

Natixis IM began its real assets co-lending program in 2012, focusing on private debt in real estate, then infrastructure and aviation. Some investment approaches deployed in Asia result from a partnership between Natixis Corporate and Investment Bank, which sources the loans, and provides servicing and economic alignment-of-interest, and Natixis IM which selects and manages the underlying assets.

“Until recently, the focus of investors in infrastructure debt was largely on the US, Europe and – to some extent – Australia,” said Prouteau. “But that focus is starting to shift to include Asia, driven in no small part by increased activity across the region in renewable energy and telecom infrastructure debt.“

Natixis IM’s deal experience spans most APAC countries, from the Tier One markets of Australia, Japan, and Korea, to Tier Two markets, including Vietnam and Indonesia. Its teams have completed deals across Asia in all the major infrastructure sectors and have executed transactions with structures ranging from brownfield to greenfield, and from senior debt to mezzanine.

“As a result, we have been able to leverage a well-developed network in the region, including borrowers, financial advisers, banks, and other institutional lenders,” added Prouteau.

As the market grows and becomes less reliant on government sponsorship – in Australia especially – infrastructure debt providers are being asked to shoulder more merchant risk. This increases the need for information on variables from market reports, in-depth pricing analysis, and credit managers who understand the local nuances of the changing landscape.

“All these risks can be mitigated by deep resources, experienced teams including a dedicated local risk officer, and the network to execute sustainable infrastructure debt deals in Asia – attributes that fall comfortably into the remit and capabilities of the Natixis IM team in APAC,” said Prouteau. Armed with these resources, returns can be considerably above the yields available on government and blue-chip bonds, at comparable risk levels.

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Any reference to a ranking and/or an award does not indicate the future performance of the fund or the fund manager.


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