Real Assets

Investing in real assets requires deep subsector knowledge, relationships with specialist operators and the ability to adapt to evolving market conditions.

Key benefits

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Experience

The Aberdeen Standard Investments (ASI) Real Assets investment team has committed over $750 million of discretionary capital to more than 90 real assets funds and over 25 direct co-investments. In addition, we have advised non-discretionary clients resulting in over $700 million in commitments.* We offer a wide range of private real assets solutions for our clients, including pooled funds, advisory services and separately managed accounts. We believe that our asset class is global in nature and, therefore, must be attuned to opportunities irrespective of location. We feel that the tenure of the real assets program, having been in existence for many years, provides a true competitive advantage when sourcing and monitoring investments on a global basis.

*Source: Aberdeen Standard Investments, all data as of June 30, 2020.

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Expertise

The members of the ASI Real Assets investment team have extensive experience in managing real assets portfolios. With over 40 combined years of active investment and advisory experience in real assets, the principals have performed detailed due diligence on opportunities both within North America and on a global basis.

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Resources

In addition to our team of dedicated real assets professionals, we are able to leverage resources from across ASI, including industry-leading economic research, a global distribution network, and dedicated legal, due diligence, operations, risk and responsible investing teams. In our view, this provides our clients with access to the best investment insights from across our whole business.

Program Highlights

  • An active participant in the real assets marketplace since 2005
  • Led by senior team with over 40 years of combined investment experience
  • Investing in funds, co-investments and secondaries
  • Partnering with independent sponsors on direct investments
  • Program evolution towards less efficient segments of the real assets landscape with an emphasis on the lower middle market

What we invest in

Upstream Oil and Gas

Upstream Oil and Gas

  • The oil and gas sector has developed significantly over the past decade, fueled by technological advances and new techniques, leading to a revival of the North American energy industry. ASI’s Real Assets program is focused on the upstream segment of the oil and gas industry, with an emphasis on low marginal-cost assets, cash-flow strategies and limited utilization of leverage.
Infrastructure

Infrastructure

  • Energy infrastructure assets serve as an essential part of the energy value chain, including gathering, storage and transportation projects connecting producers with consumers
  • Power-generation assets provide a necessary service and are often structured with long-term contracts with creditworthy counterparties. In addition, the renewable energy investment universe (such as solar and wind) has expanded significantly.
  • Water infrastructure includes water storage, pipelines and recycling/reuse. Water as a resource has no substitution risk and low commodity price risk.
Agriculture and timber

Agriculture & Timber

  • Agriculture is a diverse industry that encompasses various sectors of the value chain (including numerous “agribusiness” strategies).“Agriculture” in a real assets investment context generally refers to investments in farmland, including row (annual) crops and permanent crops (such as nuts, citrus and grapes).
  • Timberland investing includes the acquisition of land for the growth and harvest of trees which has a historically low correlation with other asset classes. While a longer-horizon asset class given the time to harvest maturity, investments in timber often have a conservation component which can provide intermediate return of capital.
Mining

Mining

  • Mining is a highly capital-intensive industry focused on the extraction and processing of essential metals and minerals. The private capital investment in mining is best suited to situations where public capital is absent or of insufficient quantity to adequately address the needs of the particular stage of the asset’s life cycle. In particular, the development (and redevelopment) phase provide such private capital opportunities.
Niche Opportunities

Niche Opportunities

  • “Niche” (emerging) strategies have a land-based component to them, such as water, mitigation banking and carbon credit strategies. This may also include emerging segments of the real estate space such as data centers and communications infrastructure. The “niche” category is designed to capture opportunities that do not fit neatly into the primary sector categories or may span multiple categories.
  • Upstream Oil and Gas

    • The oil and gas sector has developed significantly over the past decade, fueled by technological advances and new techniques, leading to a revival of the North American energy industry. ASI’s Real Assets program is focused on the upstream segment of the oil and gas industry, with an emphasis on low marginal-cost assets, cash-flow strategies and limited utilization of leverage.
  • Infrastructure

    • Energy infrastructure assets serve as an essential part of the energy value chain, including gathering, storage and transportation projects connecting producers with consumers
    • Power-generation assets provide a necessary service and are often structured with long-term contracts with creditworthy counterparties. In addition, the renewable energy investment universe (such as solar and wind) has expanded significantly.
    • Water infrastructure includes water storage, pipelines and recycling/reuse. Water as a resource has no substitution risk and low commodity price risk.
  • Agriculture & Timber

    • Agriculture is a diverse industry that encompasses various sectors of the value chain (including numerous “agribusiness” strategies).“Agriculture” in a real assets investment context generally refers to investments in farmland, including row (annual) crops and permanent crops (such as nuts, citrus and grapes).
    • Timberland investing includes the acquisition of land for the growth and harvest of trees which has a historically low correlation with other asset classes. While a longer-horizon asset class given the time to harvest maturity, investments in timber often have a conservation component which can provide intermediate return of capital.
  • Mining

    • Mining is a highly capital-intensive industry focused on the extraction and processing of essential metals and minerals. The private capital investment in mining is best suited to situations where public capital is absent or of insufficient quantity to adequately address the needs of the particular stage of the asset’s life cycle. In particular, the development (and redevelopment) phase provide such private capital opportunities.
  • Niche Opportunities

    • “Niche” (emerging) strategies have a land-based component to them, such as water, mitigation banking and carbon credit strategies. This may also include emerging segments of the real estate space such as data centers and communications infrastructure. The “niche” category is designed to capture opportunities that do not fit neatly into the primary sector categories or may span multiple categories.

What we offer clients

Primary=Investments

Primary investments

Primary investments are commitments made to private real assets funds. A portfolio of commingled primary fund investments gives investors access to the expertise of multiple fund managers and a variety of companies through a single allocation. The ASI Real Asset team’s long-term experience as a primary investor allows our clients to benefit from the following:

  • A rigorous, time-tested evaluation process
  • Exposure to hard-to-access leading managers and best-in-class emerging managers, providing exceptional choice of opportunities

If you are a potential investor, fund manager, or sponsor and would like to learn more, please contact us.

Co-investments

Co-investments

Co-investments are direct investments into companies and are made alongside general partners or independent sponsors.

Our team has deep principal and co-sponsored investment experience. We have spent decades developing relationships with general partners and independent sponsors, resulting in a distinctive sourcing model that allows us to access high-quality investment opportunities. We then apply a rigorous, disciplined, and time-tested process to identify and execute on the most attractive opportunities.

For our investors, we believe that there are many benefits to co-investing, including the ability to gain exposure to attractive investment opportunities.

For sponsors, we seek to build a lasting relationship and be a reliable and efficient equity capital partner.

If you are a potential investor, fund manager, or independent sponsor and would like to learn more, please contact us.

Secondary-Investments

Secondary investments

Secondary investments involve the buying and selling of pre-existing investor commitments to private real assets funds. We are well-placed and active in the secondary market, where we believe that our deep relationships, strong reputation and network of intermediaries give us a distinct advantage and allow us to offer our clients excellent access to this market.

If you are a potential investor or secondary seller and would like to learn more, please contact us.

Equity Trust

Private markets solutions

Private markets refer to investments not traded on a public exchange or market. In the past they were often considered too hard to access, opaque or niche for traditional investors. Now, private markets are valued and accepted as an attractive means to diversify a portfolio and achieve enhanced long-term return potential.

ASI has a long track record of managing private market strategies spanning real estate, private equity, infrastructure, real assets and private credit as well as having developed a number of innovative private markets solutions.

Today, we work closely with investors from large pension funds to private wealth clients to help them harness the potential of private markets to meet their specific investment goals.

If you are a potential investor and would like to learn more, please contact us.

  • Primary investments

    Primary investments are commitments made to private real assets funds. A portfolio of commingled primary fund investments gives investors access to the expertise of multiple fund managers and a variety of companies through a single allocation. The ASI Real Asset team’s long-term experience as a primary investor allows our clients to benefit from the following:

    • A rigorous, time-tested evaluation process
    • Exposure to hard-to-access leading managers and best-in-class emerging managers, providing exceptional choice of opportunities

    If you are a potential investor, fund manager, or sponsor and would like to learn more, please contact us.

  • Co-investments

    Co-investments are direct investments into companies and are made alongside general partners or independent sponsors.

    Our team has deep principal and co-sponsored investment experience. We have spent decades developing relationships with general partners and independent sponsors, resulting in a distinctive sourcing model that allows us to access high-quality investment opportunities. We then apply a rigorous, disciplined, and time-tested process to identify and execute on the most attractive opportunities.

    For our investors, we believe that there are many benefits to co-investing, including the ability to gain exposure to attractive investment opportunities.

    For sponsors, we seek to build a lasting relationship and be a reliable and efficient equity capital partner.

    If you are a potential investor, fund manager, or independent sponsor and would like to learn more, please contact us.

  • Secondary investments

    Secondary investments involve the buying and selling of pre-existing investor commitments to private real assets funds. We are well-placed and active in the secondary market, where we believe that our deep relationships, strong reputation and network of intermediaries give us a distinct advantage and allow us to offer our clients excellent access to this market.

    If you are a potential investor or secondary seller and would like to learn more, please contact us.

  • Private markets solutions

    Private markets refer to investments not traded on a public exchange or market. In the past they were often considered too hard to access, opaque or niche for traditional investors. Now, private markets are valued and accepted as an attractive means to diversify a portfolio and achieve enhanced long-term return potential.

    ASI has a long track record of managing private market strategies spanning real estate, private equity, infrastructure, real assets and private credit as well as having developed a number of innovative private markets solutions.

    Today, we work closely with investors from large pension funds to private wealth clients to help them harness the potential of private markets to meet their specific investment goals.

    If you are a potential investor and would like to learn more, please contact us.

Information for:

prospective investors

Prospective investors

As one of the world’s leading managers of private markets assets, we can provide our clients access to unlisted investment opportunities worldwide. We offer investors extensive access to opportunities across all key private markets asset classes. We manage over $83 billion across private equity, real estate, infrastructure, private credit, real assets and private markets solutions. We are truly global in our reach, with over 400 professionals dedicated to private markets, based in 21 offices around the world.*

All our activities across private markets are driven by three core beliefs:

  • High-quality research and fundamental investment understanding underpins sustainable outperformance
  • Connected, collaborative teams deliver better private markets investment outcomes by harnessing their collective expertise
  • Embedding environmental, social and governance (ESG) and impact investing into the investment process is key to being an active and engaged manager of private markets assets

By adhering to these three principles, we look to generate positive, reliable and sustainable outcomes for our clients throughout all market and economic conditions.

If you are a potential investor and would like to learn more, please contact us.

* As of June 30, 2019

current investors

Current investors

fund managers

Fund managers

ASI has been investing in real assets since 2005. With a core focus on the lower middle market, ASI has allocated to over 100 funds. We have been asked to join the limited partner advisory boards for the vast majority of funds to which we commit. We believe that this is a testament to the firm’s value-add capabilities.

If you are interested in speaking with the Real Assets team, you can reach us here.

independent sponsors

Independent sponsors

As the real assets landscape has evolved in recent years, independent sponsors have continued to become an ever more meaningful part of the broader ecosystem. In our effort to continually identity the best and most innovative investment opportunities in the lower middle market, we have partnered with independent sponsors on direct investments. Our team is led by professionals with deep direct real assets experience allowing us to bring unique perspective and diligence capabilities to independent sponsor-sourced investments.

If you are interested in speaking with the Real Assets team, you can reach us here.

  • Prospective investors

    As one of the world’s leading managers of private markets assets, we can provide our clients access to unlisted investment opportunities worldwide. We offer investors extensive access to opportunities across all key private markets asset classes. We manage over $83 billion across private equity, real estate, infrastructure, private credit, real assets and private markets solutions. We are truly global in our reach, with over 400 professionals dedicated to private markets, based in 21 offices around the world.*

    All our activities across private markets are driven by three core beliefs:

    • High-quality research and fundamental investment understanding underpins sustainable outperformance
    • Connected, collaborative teams deliver better private markets investment outcomes by harnessing their collective expertise
    • Embedding environmental, social and governance (ESG) and impact investing into the investment process is key to being an active and engaged manager of private markets assets

    By adhering to these three principles, we look to generate positive, reliable and sustainable outcomes for our clients throughout all market and economic conditions.

    If you are a potential investor and would like to learn more, please contact us.

    * As of June 30, 2019

  • Current investors

  • Fund managers

    ASI has been investing in real assets since 2005. With a core focus on the lower middle market, ASI has allocated to over 100 funds. We have been asked to join the limited partner advisory boards for the vast majority of funds to which we commit. We believe that this is a testament to the firm’s value-add capabilities.

    If you are interested in speaking with the Real Assets team, you can reach us here.

  • Independent sponsors

    As the real assets landscape has evolved in recent years, independent sponsors have continued to become an ever more meaningful part of the broader ecosystem. In our effort to continually identity the best and most innovative investment opportunities in the lower middle market, we have partnered with independent sponsors on direct investments. Our team is led by professionals with deep direct real assets experience allowing us to bring unique perspective and diligence capabilities to independent sponsor-sourced investments.

    If you are interested in speaking with the Real Assets team, you can reach us here.

Our team

Jim Gasperoni

Jim Gasperoni, CFA

Co-Head of Real Assets

Jim is Co-Head of Real Assets at Aberdeen Standard Investments responsible for co-managing the investment program across natural resources including: energy, mining, timber and agriculture. Jim was a Partner at FLAG prior to joining Aberdeen via the firm’s acquisition in 2015. Prior to joining FLAG in 2006, Jim was Managing Director of real assets and private equity for the Brown University Investment Office, where he was responsible for all real estate, energy, timber and commodities investments on behalf of the University’s endowment. Prior to Brown, Jim was part of the three-person real assets investment team at Princeton University Investment Company, where he was involved in all manager due diligence, manager selection and portfolio construction efforts on behalf of the University’s endowment. Prior to his tenure at Princeton University, Jim worked at Nassau Capital, a private firm investing on behalf of Princeton University. He also worked for Corporate Realty Investment Company and began his real estate career at his family consulting firm, Gasperoni & Company.

Jim holds an MBA from the University of Massachusetts (Lowell), an MS in Real Estate from MIT and a BS from Boston College. He is also a CFA® charterholder.

Ryan Sullivan

Ryan Sullivan, CFA

Co-Head of Real Assets

Ryan Sullivan is the Co-Head of Real Assets at Aberdeen Standard Investments responsible for co-managing the investment program across natural resources including: energy, mining, timber and agriculture. Ryan was a Vice President at FLAG prior to joining Aberdeen via the firm’s acquisition in 2015. Prior to joining FLAG in 2011, Ryan worked for TransCanada Power as an analyst focused on investments in the power generation sector. While at TransCanada, he was part of a team which managed over 3,500 MW of conventional and renewable power generation assets and was responsible for acquisitions, development, deal structuring and portfolio management.

Ryan holds an MBA from Boston College and a BS from Merrimack College. He is also a CFA® charterholder.

Katelyn Maher

Katelyn Maher, CFA

Investment Associate, Real Assets

Katelyn Maher is an Associate on the Real Assets team at Aberdeen Standard Investments. Katelyn joined Aberdeen as a result of the FLAG acquisition where she joined in 2015. Prior to joining FLAG, Katelyn worked at John Hancock in the Rotational Investment Analyst program gaining exposure and supporting the Real Estate, Fixed Income, Agriculture and Asset Allocation groups. She also previously held co-op positions at Wellington Management Company and General Electric-Aviation. Katelyn holds a BA in Business Administration from Northeastern University, D’Amore-McKim School of Business and completed summer school coursework in Public Finance and Environmental Economics at the London School of Economics, and is a CFA charterholder

George Chapman

George Chapman

Senior Analyst, Real Assets

George Chapman is a Senior Analyst on the Real Assets team at Aberdeen Standard Investments. George joined Aberdeen in 2018 after graduating from GE’s Financial Management Program where he held various finance roles across the energy, financial services and digital divisions of GE. George holds a BA in Business Administration and Economics from St. Lawrence University.

Christopher Higgins

Christopher Higgins, CFA

Senior Analyst, Real Assets

Christopher Higgins is a Senior Analyst on the Real Assets team at Aberdeen Standard Investments. Christopher joined Aberdeen in 2018 from the Tufts University Investment Office where he was an analyst in its rotational program. He supported the public markets, private equity, and real assets teams at Tufts by performing manager due diligence and contributing to investment recommendations. Christopher holds a BSc from Tufts University. He is also a CFA® charterholder.

  • Jim Gasperoni, CFA

    Co-Head of Real Assets

    Jim is Co-Head of Real Assets at Aberdeen Standard Investments responsible for co-managing the investment program across natural resources including: energy, mining, timber and agriculture. Jim was a Partner at FLAG prior to joining Aberdeen via the firm’s acquisition in 2015. Prior to joining FLAG in 2006, Jim was Managing Director of real assets and private equity for the Brown University Investment Office, where he was responsible for all real estate, energy, timber and commodities investments on behalf of the University’s endowment. Prior to Brown, Jim was part of the three-person real assets investment team at Princeton University Investment Company, where he was involved in all manager due diligence, manager selection and portfolio construction efforts on behalf of the University’s endowment. Prior to his tenure at Princeton University, Jim worked at Nassau Capital, a private firm investing on behalf of Princeton University. He also worked for Corporate Realty Investment Company and began his real estate career at his family consulting firm, Gasperoni & Company.

    Jim holds an MBA from the University of Massachusetts (Lowell), an MS in Real Estate from MIT and a BS from Boston College. He is also a CFA® charterholder.

  • Ryan Sullivan, CFA

    Co-Head of Real Assets

    Ryan Sullivan is the Co-Head of Real Assets at Aberdeen Standard Investments responsible for co-managing the investment program across natural resources including: energy, mining, timber and agriculture. Ryan was a Vice President at FLAG prior to joining Aberdeen via the firm’s acquisition in 2015. Prior to joining FLAG in 2011, Ryan worked for TransCanada Power as an analyst focused on investments in the power generation sector. While at TransCanada, he was part of a team which managed over 3,500 MW of conventional and renewable power generation assets and was responsible for acquisitions, development, deal structuring and portfolio management.

    Ryan holds an MBA from Boston College and a BS from Merrimack College. He is also a CFA® charterholder.

  • Katelyn Maher, CFA

    Investment Associate, Real Assets

    Katelyn Maher is an Associate on the Real Assets team at Aberdeen Standard Investments. Katelyn joined Aberdeen as a result of the FLAG acquisition where she joined in 2015. Prior to joining FLAG, Katelyn worked at John Hancock in the Rotational Investment Analyst program gaining exposure and supporting the Real Estate, Fixed Income, Agriculture and Asset Allocation groups. She also previously held co-op positions at Wellington Management Company and General Electric-Aviation. Katelyn holds a BA in Business Administration from Northeastern University, D’Amore-McKim School of Business and completed summer school coursework in Public Finance and Environmental Economics at the London School of Economics, and is a CFA charterholder

  • George Chapman

    Senior Analyst, Real Assets

    George Chapman is a Senior Analyst on the Real Assets team at Aberdeen Standard Investments. George joined Aberdeen in 2018 after graduating from GE’s Financial Management Program where he held various finance roles across the energy, financial services and digital divisions of GE. George holds a BA in Business Administration and Economics from St. Lawrence University.

  • Christopher Higgins, CFA

    Senior Analyst, Real Assets

    Christopher Higgins is a Senior Analyst on the Real Assets team at Aberdeen Standard Investments. Christopher joined Aberdeen in 2018 from the Tufts University Investment Office where he was an analyst in its rotational program. He supported the public markets, private equity, and real assets teams at Tufts by performing manager due diligence and contributing to investment recommendations. Christopher holds a BSc from Tufts University. He is also a CFA® charterholder.

Podcast / Videos

If you can build something on it, harvest or extract something from it, it’s a real asset. Where do we go from here for investments that touch all out lives – from farmland to timber, from shale to power? Richard Dunbar discusses the broad range of investable opportunities in the Real Assets arena with Jim Gasperoni: