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ELTIF 2.0: Will It Be the Catalyst for European Infrastructure Investment?

The January 2024 arrival of the revised European Long-Term Investment Fund (ELTIF 2.0) regulation, marked a pivotal moment for the European institutional investment sector and potentially the retail sector as well.

The update aims to address the shortcomings of its predecessor, ELTIF 1.0, which was widely seen to have fallen short of its objective of stimulating non-bank long-term investments in the European real economy, particularly infrastructure projects.

The new regulation presents a compelling opportunity for fund managers, investors, governments, and a multitude of stakeholders. Here we explore key ELTIF 2.0 changes and their potential impact on the European investment landscape.

Broadening the horizon

One of the most significant changes is the global reach ELTIF 2.0 now offers. Shedding its Eurocentric focus, the revised regulation allows eligible assets and investments to be located across the globe.

While this unlocks new opportunities and diversification strategies, it also brings additional regulatory considerations and complexities that fund managers must navigate.

Furthermore, the definition of “real asset” has been simplified, resulting in a wider range of investments beyond traditional infrastructure and property. ELTIFs can now also invest in securitized assets under specific conditions, provided they meet certain criteria for simplicity, transparency, and standardization.

Managing these diverse assets while meeting regulatory and investor reporting standards and timelines will require specialized knowledge and expertise.

Catering to diverse investor needs

ELTIF 2.0 recognizes the different needs of various investor profiles. For professional investors, the revised regulation offers moderate rules regarding portfolio composition, diversification, and concentration. This caters to their sophisticated investment strategies and risk appetites. To streamline operations, such funds should consider partnering with administration, compliance, and capital markets solutions providers with experience across jurisdictions and asset classes.

Recognizing the potential to democratize access to long-term investment opportunities, ELTIF 2.0 also introduces retail investor-friendly features. This could significantly increase the participation of individual investors in the European real economy. However, educating retail investors about ELTIFs and ensuring clear communication throughout the investment journey will be crucial for success.

Embracing innovation

ELTIF 2.0 embraces commonly used, flexible structures such as master-feeder structures and fund-of-fund options. These offer greater flexibility for both fund managers and investors, allowing for more tailored investment strategies. However, efficiently managing and administering such complex structures with often equally complex project finance investments requires robust systems and specialized expertise.

A catalyst for growth

The revised framework holds the potential to significantly boost the appeal of ELTIFs, attracting both professional and even retail investors to long-term investments in the real economy – both in Europe and globally.

As such, it could unlock new avenues for capital, fostering innovation and growth across various sectors.

While time will tell if ELTIF 2.0 can overcome the challenges faced by its predecessor and revolutionize the investment landscape for major projects, it represents a significant step forward. By offering a more flexible and adaptable framework, ELTIF 2.0 paves the way for channeling capital towards long-term growth, contributing to a more vibrant and resilient European economy.

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