Infrastructure Fund Manager of the Year 2015 – Germany


Founded in 2005, Deutsche Finance Group is based in Munich with offices in Zurich and Paris. We spoke to Symon Hardy Godl, Manging Director of the firm, to find out more about their practice and how their fund of funds consistently achieves results.

Perhaps the most distinguishable characteristic of our firm is that it is 100% management owned, which allows us to make quick decisions, be highly communicative and, as a result, achieve the best results for our clients. Deutsche Finance’s fund of funds offer investors diversified access to institutional private equity real estate and infrastructure strategies which deliver long time superior investment performance, broad diversification, excellent manager allocation and ongoing risk management capabilities.

Furthermore, every target investment of ours is handpicked, with a thorough due diligence process and serious negotiations that are fully aligned with the investment manager. We have access to the bestin- class managers in the private equity real estate and infrastructure business, and they all are the best positioned, well focused specialists for certain markets and sectors. Over the years, they have maintained a consistent track record of success for a long term. As a result, they all help us to capitalise on the extraordinary opportunities in the global private equity real estate and infrastructure landscape. Additionally, we are the only fund of funds which constantly produces new fund of funds products for private individuals and institutional clients for a decade now.

As for my expertise, like many of my colleagues I gained a lot of experience working for institutional investors before joining Deutsche Finance Group. For E.ON, the power utility group, I built up a large alternative private markets portfolio for their pension liabilities. This portfolio, with assets of 2,5 bln. EUR and more than 50 private equity real estate and infrastructure strategies, provided the blueprint of the strategies we execute today. From 2008 to 2009, I advised Deutsche Finance with my Partner Sven Neubauer when working for Valartis, a Swiss Asset Management Boutique. Subsequently, we became Partners of Deutsche Finance in 2009. Today we have a personal track record of more than 4 bln. USD in more than 200 individual real asset strategies worldwide, including infrastructure and more than 50 people are working for the success of Deutsche Finance real estate and infrastructure fund of funds. 

In our industry, most investors think that infrastructure investments are safe and have a regular cash flow component. This is not necessarily true. In actual fact, infrastructure investments are typically highly dependent on factors such as political issues, subsidies and even weather conditions. As real estate investments, the cash flow is only safe when stabilised, and we think of it in the same vein as when there is no wind you get no turnover of a windfarm. For this reason, we provide diversified infrastructure investments the same way as real estate. A focus on more rental based infrastructure investments can also make sense like having a parking lot, schools, hospitals etc. 

In my opinion, big scale infrastructure projects are overpriced right now, especially in mature markets. From our experience, risk is not always priced right, and a broader mix of investment opportunities can help to manage these risks and to invest big amounts too. Managing risk is sometimes not counted and most investors only focus on a stable cash flow. A fund of funds can deliver really stable cash flow from more than one source and optimise the risk by diversifying on several types of infrastructure assets. This makes even more sense when an institutional
investor is not able by size to execute his own diversification.

With our strategy, we can choose the type of investments every day, and we are highly independent of market moves. Moreover, we do not have to have highly focussed personnel which only cover one type of infrastructure, and instead we can really move quickly to new opportunities in the market.

What really benefits our clients is that any of them can individually define the type and amount of risk it want to carry. As all of our products are fund of funds portfolios of institutional strategies, we can combine target investments as agreed. The type of infrastructure, the regions and currencies, the number of investments are all part of the combined risk in the portfolio and as a result is probably much less than in any other infrastructure investment.

Looking towards the future, we are very confident that our firm will continue to grow in 2016 and beyond. This year, we will establish at least three new funds and hope to convince new institutions of our diversified investment strategy.

Company: Deutsche Finance Group
Name: Symon Hardy GODL
Email: [email protected]
Web Address:
Address: Ridlerstrasse 33, 80339 München, Germany
Telephone: 49891707880112

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