Kensington Investment Group is set to launch the Kensington Global Infrastructure Fund, a first-of-its-kind in the U.S. next week. The fund will offer investors exposure to a portfolio of exchange-traded companies providing vital services for the growth and development of communities around the world.

The fund will be benchmarked against the S&P Global Infrastructure Index, which tracks infrastructure companies. The Orinda-Calif.-based company expanded the asset class to include communications, social services and companies involved in construction.

“We see infrastructure investing as a logical progression for our clients and for us as a team,” said portfolio manager Joel Beam. “With its historical return profile and powerful secular trends serving as catalysts, we expect that over time, infrastructure could become a cornerstone of investment portfolios.”

Privatization is sweeping the U.S. Once government-financed and operated infrastructure assets are now being leased to private entities, a trend that started in Europe several decades ago.

“Growing interest in privatization of infrastructure assets is not an accident,” said John Kramer, president and co-chief investment officer at Kensington. “As urban populations swell and globalization demands that businesses compete internationally, governments are seeking new sources of capital to fund infrastructure projects as a means of driving economic and productivity growth,” he said.

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