Mercatus CEO’s Letter to Investors: Why BlackRock’s New Standard for Sustainable Investing Requires a Data Strategy to Support it

What cannot be measured cannot be improved: Why BlackRock’s new standard for investing in sustainability will require a data strategy to support it.   Dear Investor, By now you’ve heard about BlackRock CEO Larry Fink’s annual letter to corporate executives in which he addresses the need for a fundamental reshaping of finance, with climate change

5 Minutes with Mercatus | As Featured in The Drawdown

Chris Webb, who recently joined Mercatus after 10 years with FIS Investran to build up the software company’s European business… The Drawdown (TDD): What does Mercatus do, and who are your typical clients? Chris Webb (CW): Mercatus is an investment lifecycle management platform. Our main clients are real asset fund managers and investors, within the infrastructure,

ESG Trifecta: Strategy, Technology, and Process

Written by Joe Indvik and Ali Mamujee. The real asset industry is under increasing pressure from investors and stakeholders to improve environmental, social, and governance (ESG) practices. According to BlackRock’s most recent Global Real Asset Outlook, the real asset sector received $203B of cash inflows in 2018. Infrastructure had its second consecutive record-breaking year with $85B raised.

ESG Trend: Monetizing Sustainability

Last week I was privileged to attend the Equilibrium Capital Sustainability Forum.  The Forum, in its 8th year, brings together Limited Partners (LPs), General Partners (GPs), Consultants, and other thought-leaders to dive deep into how Sustainability is rapidly changing the real asset investment landscape. This year’s agenda focused on the most important trend in ESG

Perspective: What the Blackrock Acquisition of eFront Means for ALTs Investors

Last week’s $1.3B+ acquisition of eFront by Blackrock’s Aladdin group, along with Ipreo’s 2018 acquisition by IHS Markit, is incredible validation that Alternative Fund Managers are embracing technology to efficiently scale their assets under management and meet growing demands for more data transparency. The rich multiples both Blackrock and IHS paid is also indicative that

CRE market turns AI, machine learning to bolster margins

Rising costs and falling fees are putting pressure on margins for assets managers… Rising costs and falling fees are putting pressure on margins for assets managers in the commercial real estate world and beyond. At the same time, commercial real estate managers have an additional stressor –soaring construction costs and rising land prices, which are

The Data Management Conundrum in ALTs Investing

Over 50% of the most critical data are locked up in spreadsheets. There is a massive evolution happening in how investment firms now think about data – how it’s collected, accessed, managed, consolidated, analyzed. Let’s actually put this into perspective with a real-life story to bring home the growing importance of data and data reporting…

Investment Europe: Technology Innovation – Enabler for Renewable Infrastructure Investment

As fee pressure, rising costs, and intense competition continue to bear down on global asset managers, so too does the allure of two diverging migratory paths for assets. On one hand, simple strategies continue to thrive. ETFs have consistently set growth records over the past five years and seen assets under management more than double.

Enel and Mercatus unite to scale digital transformation

Mercatus leverages a successful four-year working history within Enel’s Renewable Energies Group. It has already produced double-digit productivity increases, and plans to expand the partnership. This will offer Enel’s top management end-to-end visibility and control with increased growth and profitability across all of the Group’s businesses. Key Statistics: Successfully working with Enel since the beginning

Investment Lifecycle Management: A “Top Executive Priority” For Energy Companies

Fastest growing priority for energy executives: managing investment data end-to-end Top-line growth can no longer be enabled by proportional headcount; data is a key enabler of operational efficiencies Key to strategic real-time decision-making is centralized economic & technical silos across the investment lifecycle   Higher Expectations, Increasing Competition, Lower Margins – How Are You Mitigating?

The $250 Billion Profit Opportunity in Renewable Energy

Project returns drop on average 250 basis points (bps) over their investment lifecycles. Here’s why.      Despite the $10 trillion of new investment expected within the renewable energy industry over the next 20 years, asset managers are facing three factors that are putting their profits at risk:   Rapidly Decreasing Power Purchase Prices

How Lack of Confidence in Investment Decisions Hinders Growth

Lack of access to real-time, accurate data is hindering power producer’s ability to make investment decisions and limiting their chances of achieving profitable growth.   In today’s highly competitive global energy market, the ability to make accurate and timely investment decisions is an essential part of maintaining business growth. However, with dropping technology prices, evolving

What’s the Cost of Inaction?

With regulatory conditions for renewables worsening in the U.S., power producers must choose to change or suffer the consequences of inaction.  Last November when Donald Trump won the presidency, I said with confidence that there was no way he could stop the renewable energy juggernaut. The ‘economic genie’ created by the success of solar and

Using Data to Drive Insights and Cost Savings in Asset Management – Intersolar North America 2017

On panel at this year’s Intersolar North America, Haresh Patel talks with solar asset managers and software providers about the needs of asset managers and how they can apply data to drive insights and cost savings.    Asset management was a significant focus at this year’s Intersolar North America conference, with its own devoted sub conference hosted by SunSpec Alliance over the course of

Are Energy Executives Focused on the Right Business Levers to Drive EBITDA and Growth?

In recent years, we’ve seen the costs of solar and wind drop rapidly. Declines in technology, installation, and EPC costs, paired with abundant supply have brought power prices to unprecedented lows. While this is great news for lower costs, the power producer’s business model is running into trouble. In a hyper competitive market, where the

Energy Independence Day

We would like to share these Independence Day reflections from one of our valued customers and company friends, Jigar Shah, president of Generate Capital.   I am a naturalized citizen, having been born in India and coming to the USA when I was very young.  I grew up in a small town in Illinois and

Trump Decides to Make China Great Again, as the U.S. Exits the Paris Agreement

President Trump’s decision to leave the Paris Accord is good news for China who is now poised to be the new economic superpower and leader in clean energy development.   Earlier today at the White House, President Donald Trump announced that he will be dissolving the United State’s commitment to the Paris Accord, and plans

New Opportunities in the Face of Uncertainty: Recapping BNEF 2017

Mercatus joined Bloomberg New Energy Finance for their signature Future of Energy Summit this past April in New York City. Now in its tenth year, this year’s show was the largest and most diverse yet, with over 1,000 attendees present from across the energy sector, including politicians, regulators, investors and more. New participation signalled major growth, given that just a few years ago the summit was still

Here Today, Gone Tomorrow: Why Digitalization is Critical in Surviving Market Transformation 

With more assets for sale and consolidations underway, energy markets are going through a period of uncertainty. Why unifying IT platforms is your best chance for weathering the storm.   It’s no new news that the onset of distributed generation is causing significant challenges for businesses across the energy sector. New technologies, changing consumer demands

Solar Acquisitions Heat Up as the Market Enters Into a Consolidation Phase (For a Second Time)

Here are the lessons learned from the first round of consolidations, and how companies can successfully merge this time around. Back in 2015, we noticed an emerging pattern that traditional power producers were following as they attempted to expand into the renewable energy market. At the time, a number of large utility players including NRG,

Impressions from Asia: Challenges and Opportunities for Renewables

After two weeks abroad, Haresh Patel returns to Mercatus with new insights into the Asian project finance landscape. In this Q&A interview, we get a glimpse into both the challenges and opportunities of project development in the East.   What was the purpose of your trip, and which countries did you visit? As we look

Key Learnings from Solar Asset Management North America

Asset Managers look towards automation, standardization and collaboration as the future of asset management. Over 400 solar professionals from across the industry convened at this year’s Solar Asset Management North America conference in San Francisco. Over the course of two days, professionals from across the solar spectrum convened to discuss the latest trends and innovations

Growing Corporate Procurement. Who Are the Next Global Players?

Corporate procurement is already quite popular in the US as companies such as Amazon, Google and Microsoft procure renewable energy to power their data centers, offices, and factories. As of last December, Amazon procured 650 MW, Google procured 565 MW and Microsoft 257 MW of clean power; the equivalent of two to three typical coal plants.

5 Reasons To Uplevel Your IT Infrastructure with ILM

Energy companies are told every day they need to catch up with an evolving IT landscape. At nearly every industry conference in 2016, we were reminded of the magnitude and inevitability of digital transformation in the energy sector. From Bloomberg’s Future of Energy Summits, to European Utility Week, we were reminded again and again that

Geothermal: A Steadily Growing Power Sector

When people converse about a low carbon future powered by clean energy, they often forgot one crucial renewable resource: geothermal. Maybe geothermal power is missed since it is one of the most difficult to understand. Anyone can imagine a sunny day or a rushing river. However, extracting heat from the Earth, a kilometer below the

Global Renewable Investments: Highlights and Predictions for 2017

Another year has come in gone in our burgeoning industry; and what a year it has been. 2016 started off strong from the momentum of COP21 and the ITC/PTC extension. However, mid year we witnessed the fall of SunEdison which further stressed the need for greater compliance and responsible project financing. A wave of populist movements throughout Europe, most notably

Big Oil Goes Green: A Growing Trend in Renewable Investments

These days, it seems the only time we hear from oil companies is when they are advertising their participation in clean energy development. BP has been running renewable ads for a handful of years, now — no doubt partially spurred by its poor public image, which is still recovering from the Deepwater Horizon incident. In

COP22 and the Fight Against Climate Change: Who Will Triumph?

COP21 and CO22 sent loud messages to the market that policy continues to stand up to climate change. But with whom does the responsibility lie? Last November,  the twenty-second session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 22), and the first session of the Paris Agreement met in Marrakech, Morocco. As of mid-December, 118 Parties had ratified

Investment 2.0: The Future of Renewable Financing

In Bloomberg’s 2016 New Energy Outlook, analysts maintained that we are on track to invest $9.4 trillion in carbon-free energy, globally, by 2040. However, the report also estimates that an additional $5.4 trillion will have to be spent in order to keep atmospheric carbon levels under the critical number of 450 parts-per-million. Given our renewable investment