IPFA 2024 | An Infrastructure Oydessy

IPFA 2024 | An Infrastructure Oydessy

Welcome to the future, and the next 25 years of the IPFA.

Some of you, most likely those of you already eyeing retirement or at least sprouting some gray hairs, will recall me from my time as the editor of IJGlobal (or as I like to remember it, Infrastructure Journal). I disappeared from that particular industry soapbox in 2014 into the black hole of a small quarter of the Big Four, and have only recently emerged again.

The rest of you have absolutely no idea who I am, and that is totally understandable. [Awkward pause.] Let me introduce myself, and my role at IPFA:

As a long time admirer and active consumer of IPFA events, I was delighted to join this passionate and amazing industry association last April…

[BAZALGETTE 9000]: Sorry to interrupt John, but I could help you write this feature. It will save you time and I could do a very convincing job.

Excuse me, and apologies for the silly interruption. That’s BAZALGETTE 9000, a Kubrick era Heuristically Programmed Algorithmic Computer designed to help me with energy and infrastructure finance questions. Essentially, it’s an AI that overuses capitalization and the Atkinson Hyperlegible font.

Thank you BAZALGETTE 9000, but I got this.

Where was I?

[BAZALGETTE 9000]: You were delighted to join this passionate and amazing industry association last April…

Indeed. Thank you.

I’ve come on board to support Teresa Mora with the Knowledge Hub and IPFA’s content strategy. I am also helping Daisy Brooker with strategic initiatives like IPFA’s new Networks and Special Interest Groups. More on those in just a bit.

The Next 25 Years

First, let’s note the past 25 years, and the incredible impact it has had on a generation of energy and infrastructure professionals. This summer, amongst the canapé parade of 25th Anniversary celebrations, IPFA recruited a diverse range of members to commemorate the occasion with a thought provoking, highly entertaining, and forward-focused video series that asks the following questions:

● How have energy and infrastructure markets changed over the past 25 years?

● What is the most intriguing current trend that you’re seeing in the market?

● Where do you think IPFA and the energy and infrastructure markets will be 25 years from now?

● And finally, what are your personal reflections on the IPFA?

You may have seen short clips from this series shared on LinkedIn.

[BAZALGETTE 9000]: Make sure you tell them to like and subscribe.

(Sigh)… Please like and subscribe.

The full videos have also been published to the Knowledge Hub here:

● Julia Prescot, Co-Founder, Partner at Meridiam

● Gideon Tilburgs, European Managing Director, Equitix

● Rob Ward, Head of Asian Investment Banking Division, Oceania, MUFG

● Zoe Markwick, Square Peg Infrastructure (Coming soon!)

● Nomita Nair, Senior Consultant, BCLP

● Umer Ahmed, CEO, Capton Energy (Coming soon!)

● Bridgett Majola, Director, CMS

● Nick Chism, Global Chair, IPFA

● Daisy Brooker, CEO, IPFA

If the past 25 years have been about the emergence and maturation of energy and infrastructure finance, the next 25 years are surely about utilizing such finance to respond to the climate crisis and deliver the world’s energy transition goals. IPFA aims to be the go-to forum for industry insights and developments in the Energy Transition. To that end, IPFA has made Energy Transition its central theme for 2024, and is launching the IPFA Energy Transition Network in January as the first of its Networks and Special Interest Groups.

IPFA Networks and Special Interest Groups

[BAZALGETTE 9000]: What are IPFA Networks and Special Interest Groups?

Thank you again BAZALGETTE 9000; I’m delighted you asked, and mildly concerned because you offered to write this for me.

IPFA Networks are being designed to attract specialist members who are interested in (or want to join) a single network formed around a specific sector or theme. They are governed by the

Global Council with Chairs selected from the membership to drive activities such as knowledge sharing, networking, and content creation for our Full member community. Networks will keep a pulse on the market discussing new developments and best practice globally via virtual group meetings. They will also encourage individual connections to actively engage with other specialist members wherever they sit in the world.

Special Interest Groups (SIGs) will typically operate within Network structures, and focus on delivering content or some other set of tightly defined objectives that add value and synthesize information from different perspectives. For example, if IPFA launched a Network focused on Operational Asset Management, that Network might then form a 6-month Special Interest Group with public sector representatives or other non-member SMEs to collectively write a high-level guidance for PFI and PPP handback.

New Monthly Editorial

In addition to supporting the launch of the IPFA Energy Transition Network and development of other such groups, I’ve committed to writing (or editing) monthly editorials to be published in this space. Something like the Fourth Plinth for those that remember, but with different branding for which I am very much open to suggestions.

I will use these monthly editorials to share my own perspectives on the market, interview other subject matter experts in our community, or offer the Knowledge Hub space up to members as a chance to share their own perspectives in their own words. Please do reach out if you’re interested.

Closing Thoughts

Finally, I just want to say thank you to anyone who managed to read this far. In this modern world of increasingly shorter X and TikTok attention spans, I greatly appreciate those who spend time reading longer form media. I promise to use this space efficiently and effectively in future.

[BAZALGETTE 9000]: Just so you know John, I read your article and found it disjointed and less than concise. I could have written it better.

Thank you BAZALGETTE 9000. Maybe next time I’ll seek advice from ChatGPT. In the meantime, how are you getting on with the new draft legislation to fix the UK’s water industry?

[BAZALGETTE 9000]: I’m sorry, that server is down for maintenance.

I thought so.

John Kjorstad, IPFA Consultant


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