There's been plenty of talk from politicians and the presidential candidates about the need to increase infrastructure investment, but more U.S. pension funds like CalPERS are putting talk into action — and in a big way.
The pension funds are investing in such projects as U.S. toll roads, waste-water treatment plants, power transmission systems and clean energy. Within the infrastructure sector, the majority of the approaches by pension funds through private co-mingled funds and participation has soared in the past five years.
"Pension funds appear to be a natural investor for infrastructure given their need for both diversification and asset liability management," said Doug Criscitello, executive director of MIT's Center for Finance and Policy. "Something has got to give. Our infrastructure continues to crumble and our budgets are structurally impaired. So I think the U.S. will see more of this in the years and decades ahead."