Michael Sieg (ThomasLloyd Group): "ThomasLloyd has a proven track-record on large-scale infrastructure projects"

A major player in the Green Economy, ThomasLloyd Group is a global impact asset-management leader dedicated to the high growth & emerging markets infrastructure segment. Its founder, chairman & CEO Michael Sieg, tells us more about this dynamic company.

Posté le Monday, November 9th 2020
Michael Sieg (ThomasLloyd Group): "ThomasLloyd has a proven track-record on large-scale infrastructure projects"

Tell us a bit about ThomasLloyd Group.
Michael Sieg.
Founded in 2003, ThomasLloyd is a global investment and advisory firm dedicated to leading the necessary process for social and environmental change by financing the construction and operation of sustainable projects in the infrastructure, agriculture and real-estate sectors.

And as a pioneering investment company regarding infrastructure in emerging and developing countries, we are committed to creating sustainable value by striking the perfect balance between economic, environmental and social returns for clients, the environment and the local population on the ground. To this end we currently manage in the region of €3.7 billion, €1.1 billion of which is devoted to the sustainable infrastructure sector.

Why focus on the infrastructure sector?
The development and modernisation of infrastructure is one of the biggest challenges the world faces in the 21st century. McKinsey estimates that, between now and 2040, $94 trillion will be needed to get infrastructure in every part of the world up to current day standards. The infrastructure deficit is a particularly pressing problem for Asia, since it has been the engine of the global economy for some time now.

And this makes Asia fertile ground for ThomasLloyd to invest in, one imagines.
Investors, conscious of their responsibility as regards climate change, must act where their investments have the greatest capacity to make a positive impact. In other words, in regions witnessing strong economic and demographic growth and zones where there is a serious infrastructure deficit, which display ideal conditions in relation to climate issues.

At present, we find, the ideal investment conditions are to be found in emerging countries, specifically Asian ones. Six people out of ten live in this part of the world, and by the mid-point of this century it is estimated that China and India will be the No.1 and No.2 economies in the world. However the investment needed to see Asia realize its potential between 2017 and 2040 is of the order of $51 trillion. But because of the frenetic pace of demographic and economic growth in Asia, the region is being hindered by the limits of its infrastructure networks, which are in urgent need of a detailed review. I would point out here that we do not invest in zones of geographic instability or in China.

"In total, infrastructure projects carried out by ThomasLloyd in emerging and developing countries account for 8.9 million square meters of construction space and approx 600 megawatts generated via solar panels and biomass"

What added value do you bring?
Our input is entirely unique, richer and resolutely cutting-edge. As a matter of fact, ThomasLloyd allows investors to make profit while simultaneously having a positive social and environmental impact. As our slogan says: “Invest where your money makes the difference.” And so was born the ThomasLloyd triple return with its own unique economic, social and environmental characteristics which are for investors, for the environment and for the good of the local population.

We develop, finance and operate infrastructure projects in Asia which have the capacity to significantly improve living conditions. In many parts of Asia, people lack adequate standards of lighting and heating, utilities and public transportation. In these countries, ThomasLloyd provides flexible financing solutions, strong sector-specific industrial expertise, as well as a proven track-record on large-scale infrastructure projects.

What type of infrastructure, specifically, are you talking about?
We target a wide range of infrastructure projects. Currently, more than anything else, it is energy projects for which we are seeing a high level of interest on the part of governments, because, in this part of the world, 628 million currently live without access to electricity at all. Our group has taken full advantage of its standing in political and economic circles. In total, infrastructure projects carried out by ThomasLloyd in emerging and developing countries account for 8.9 million square meters of construction space and approx 600 megawatts generated via solar panels and biomass.

Tell us about some infrastructure projects you have been involved with to date.
We have, for example, signed on for the development and construction of several biomass plants in the Philippines, working closely with the International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group. Our teams have also acquired a significant share in SolarArise, a utility-scale solar platform in India, in partnership with e.g. the European Investment Bank. At this time we are also exploring investment opportunities in other countries in the Southeast Asia region, incl. Vietnam and Indonesia.

How does ThomasLloyd put together a typical investment
ThomasLloyd invests with its own capital, as well as that of investors – private investors, but also institutional investors. Projects best suited to each local situation are carefully identified, then developed and built in concert with partners of renown in the industrial sector, i.e. top project developers and major construction contractors. We generally sell plants after they have been commissioned to power utilities interested in the generation capacity and/or financial institutions, such as pension funds, interested in longterm, secure annuity income. 

Several ratings agencies have singled out ThomasLloyd for praise, have they not?
Indeed. In the investment sector, we received the best possible grade (A+) regarding principles for responsible investment (PRI). We have also been accorded an environment label by LuxFLAG, an independent financial rating agency based in Luxembourg, for our Alternative Investment Fund (AIF) ThomasLloyd SICAV – Sustainable Infrastructure Income Fund. Lastly, ratings agency Telos certified our infrastructure investment platform triple A, which corresponds to “the highest possible standards of quality.”

What are the modalities of a ThomasLloyd investment?
The bar for entry set at €10,000, or more in the case of certain products (bonds, funds, structured products) as well as other client-driven solutions (wealth management mandates, investment accounts). The duration of the financing/investment varies from a few month up 5 or 6 years. Our clients include high net worth individuals and their advisors, wholesale and institutional clients and the public sector.

What returns can clients expect to earn should they invest with ThomasLloyd?
Double digit operational returns on a hold to maturity basis are generated by ThomasLloyd projects. To date, all of our sustainable investments have attained or surpassed their initial targets. All interest payments and reimbursements of initial outlays are paid in full and conform to the issuing prospectus.

And in terms of bonds, what returns can clients expect to receive? ThomasLloyd’s objective is to give a fixed rate return of 3.075%, 5.175% or non-fixed, but index linked to our portfolio of projects.