Interview with Mélanie Biessy, Senior Partner and COO of Antin Infrastructure Partners

Copyright: American Public Power Association

Could you give us a brief introduction to your company? 

Mélanie Biessy - Antin Infrastructure Partners (Antin) is a Franco-British management company founded in 2007. We specialise in infrastructure investments in the OECD area, primarily in four broad sectors: transport, energy/renewable energy, telecoms (fibre optics, towers) and social infrastructure (healthcare, education). We currently employ close to 70 people across our three sites: London, Paris and Luxembourg. 

Mélanie BiessyWe manage three investment funds and several co-investment funds totalling more than €7.5 billion in assets under management raised from institutional investors, sovereign wealth funds, insurers, banks and pension funds. Each of our funds has a 10-year term, which means Fund I will mature next year. Our funds are solely administered from our Paris and Luxembourg offices. 

When Fund III closed in December 2016, Antin had achieved the second-largest capital inflow of the year in Europe. Investors in Funds II and III reaffirmed their trust in us by investing significantly in Fund III alongside new investors coming predominantly from Asia and the Middle East. Fund III's first two investments are in the social infrastructure sector: Kisimul, a learning centre for people with autism in the UK, and Almaviva, a network of private hospitals in Paris and the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region. 

In 2016, you appointed CACEIS as the depositary bank of Fund III. What convinced you to make that choice? 

MB - Yes, we appointed CACEIS as the depositary and registrar for Fund III. We also negotiated an equity bridge funded jointly by CACEIS and CACIB. 

The main reason we chose CACEIS was that they were offering a simple arrangement with one contact person for all our teams. We were also looking for a sole depositary able to offer high-quality, sophisticated services while coordinating activities in France, the UK and Luxembourg. CACEIS ticked all the boxes. We really appreciate the stability and expertise of CACEIS, because these qualities reassure our investors. 

Thanks to a centralised management model, we basically see CACEIS as a facilitator. This model ensures uniform data processing, regardless of fund jurisdiction, and enables genuine synchronisation of fund vehicles, irrespective of where the information has come from. 

CACEIS’s other strengths are their competitive prices and their OLIS client platform. We particularly appreciate how their responsive teams are able to continually upgrade this online tool to meet our needs. In short, we decided to choose CACEIS because of their efficiency and competitiveness, and the OLIS tool. 

What do you particularly appreciate about your relationship with CACEIS? 

MB - The responsiveness of their teams, their uniform data processing, the quality of the OLIS platform and a single contact person are what we consider to be the best aspects of our relationship with CACEIS, who operate on our behalf in three different jurisdictions (France, the UK and Luxembourg). 

That last point is crucial for Antin. It saves us lots of time and makes our day-to-day job easier because we can focus on what we do best. 

You have a presence in the UK market via your London office; how does CACEIS meet your specific needs? 

MB - There are indeed requirements and documents that are specific to the UK market. But that doesn’t affect us at all because our single contact person at CACEIS takes care of everything at their end. That is a real source of comfort to us. 

What do you expect from your relationship with CACEIS going forward? 

MB - We hope that CACEIS will continue to support us with the same degree of responsiveness and ability to anticipate our needs, particularly with regard to the equity bridge. We want them to help us on a daily basis so we can quickly address our needs in relation to any specific issues that may arise in the future