Jensen Clarke, Vice President, Fengate Real Asset Investments (“Fengate”)
Describe your company’s work in P3s:
Fengate is a lead developer and equity investor of P3 projects across North America. As lead developer, Fengate’s role is to serve as a single-point-of-contact with the authority (client), to arrange efficient project financing and to ensure that project risks are allocated to those best able to manage them. Fengate has found success in the light rail, health care and justice P3 sectors.
Why did you join NCPPP and what benefits do you see in your association with the Council?
I chose to join the Council because I felt it would give me a strong platform to share my passion for the P3 model and because it would put me in touch with others who share this passion.
Do you have any thoughts on the current status of the P3 market and the types of opportunities or trends that are likely to emerge in the near future?
We are in an exciting time as an industry at the moment; we are seeing new sectors gain traction (smart cities, broadband etc) and, as more precedent deals are closed, it will give government authorities the confidence to procure projects in the future.
In the Canadian market; I foresee Ontario continuing to lead the way with a robust health care, justice and transit deal pipeline. I also see Ontario being complemented by the Maritime provinces (Newfoundland, Halifax etc.), which will look to build out their health care and justice infrastructure.
I look for the U.S, market to continue to develop; I believe the ability to inject federal support into projects will become problematic, which will force states and government bodies to rely on themselves and the private sector to get deals done. Sectors I foresee thriving under this environment would include aviation and tolling civil infrastructure.
What are the biggest challenges the P3 community faces and how should they be addressed?
The single largest challenge facing the P3 community today is the lack of value that some government authorities put on an outsourced long-term operations and management or facility management contract. What needs to be clearly articulated is that the benefits of risk transfer for the duration of the concession far outweigh the additional cost of private finance.
Aside from the above, challenges largely stem from procurements that come to market and are stalled or cancelled. This is problematic for the industry as it might create hesitation for developers and design-builders to commit the resources required to chase P3 opportunities in these affected areas in the future.