Infra developer to MF PE?

Hi all, Im an associate at a renewables infra developer. I sit in the project finance group, so bread and butter is raising construction and term debt, cash equity, and tax equity for utility scale solar, onshore and offshore wind, and battery storage. My firm also holds onto equity in a lot of projects, so I have experience in 30-yr hold cases too, not just pure sale of assets. My firm is one of the 3 largest developers in the US.I have around 2 years of experience in the renewables field, graduated undergrad 3 years ago, and over $1.5Bn of capital closed.

I have extensive experience with renewables infrastructure modeling, working with independent engineer consultants, external valuation consultants, running finance side of legal processes with internal and external counsel, working capital raise process with boutique and BB IBs, etc.

I get tons of recruiters reaching out for other developer roles, a lot of renewables focused infra PE. Does someone with my profile have a shot at MF infrastructure PE at firms like Brookfield, GIP, BX Infra Partners, Stonepeak, etc?Happy to provide more info if needed.

Comments (7)

May 7, 2022 - 3:19pm
adamboyy007, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Can you DM me? I think if you give a bit more background on the types of deals you have closed (PPA contracts tenors, merchant risk, repowering, types of debt products, etc.) then that would be beneficial in crafting your story.

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  • Analyst 2 in AM - Other
May 7, 2022 - 3:48pm

Appreciate the offer for private discussions but given how small this universe is (privacy) and wanting to keep information open to other users here, Id prefer to keep conversation higher level and on the forum site.

To answer your question, the PPAs attached to our projects are typically 15-25 years fixed rate. Sometimes they're fully bundled with capacity and RECs, sometimes they're energy only. We deal with merchant energy price exposure post-PPA term, if capacity or RECs are unbundled with the PPA, we will be exposed to merchant capacity or market sale of RECs. Our projects will have anywhere from 1-4 PPA offtakers, typically depends on capacity of the project.

All of the above is for financed projects. We also run models to support PPA price negotiations for projects in very early stage development. Though another internal team runs the actual PPA origination and sales process.

My group doesn't look at repowering, we are greenfield only.

As far as debt goes, it's fairly vanilla stuff IMO. We raise construction debt that flips to back leverage term debt post COD. We raise bridge loans for project construction costs to bridge us to tax equity funds at COD, typically looking at total leverage (construction and bridge loans) as 80-90% of project costs. We hedge rate exposure on the debt with swaps and deal contingent hedges. Haven't touched bonds, mezz debt, or any other tranches of debt. Obviously all debt is sized/sculpted.

  • Associate 3 in IB-M&A
May 7, 2022 - 4:46pm

Think you will always be behind infra IB/MM infra PE guys, the developer experience doesn't really convey as well and project finance modeling is quite a bit different than M&A/LBO that the infra guys are expected to be masters of. If you're set on it, aim for a smaller infra fund first or consider lateraling into a top infra IB group

May 7, 2022 - 10:49pm
adamboyy007, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I have a different view. I'm at an Infra Fund. I don't think the modelling is more of an M&A model cause at the end of the day most people infra transactions aren't like your portfolio utility taking another utility private for you to do the core M&A modelling. I think understanding how to build forecasts under different capital structure and operating scenarios is key. Most infra investors are bottom up so need to build models that on an asset level. Perhaps you may benefit from incremental modelling training using different debt structures and LBO knowledge helps there. But think PF experience is helpful in getting there too. IB stint would have to include sufficient modelling experience for it to be valuable, which really depends on your bank / group and how they split modelling with the product or sector groups. I have a few Infra / LBO case studies that I can share to help you get up to speed if you prefer.

May 7, 2022 - 11:02pm
losing interest, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I generally agree with this view, but I think the issue is that OP is looking at top tier infra MFs. Without doxxing myself, I would be confident in saying that most, if not all of the funds OP mentioned would not look at someone with the background being described. My fund certainly wouldn't at least.

If you do a quick LinkedIn search of people who were previously employed by EDPR as an example, the first 3-4 pages are currently at another developer or are in banking. The one guy who I found that is at a fund did a banking stint in between. I would say that PF modelling experience is arguably better than the modelling experience a junior banker would get at a lot of banks, but the unfortunate fact is that pedigree probably matters more than it should at a lot of these places.  

May 9, 2022 - 11:53pm
fomafoma, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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