Henry Cisneros launching infrastructure firm, wants to be involved in NY projects

Former HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros and former city Comptroller William Thompson are showcasing projects in New York and elsewhere.

A new infrastructure investment firm is shopping around a handful of potential projects, including several in the metro area.

American Triple I Partners, LLC, launched by former U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Henry Cisneros and other principals of the investment banking firm Siebert Cisneros Shank & Co LLC (including former city Comptroller William Thompson Jr.), is starting to raise capital while focusing on a handful of projects. Each would involve an investment of about $300 million and aim to bring in annual returns of 9 to 12 percent, according to Cisneros, chairman and co-chief investment officer of American Triple I, located on Wall Street. He said the firm intends to formally launch an investment fund within the next year or so.

"The main impetus is the need to deal with the infrastructure issues that affect the country, and the recognition that it’s not going to be done with public financing — there’s debt limitations and statutory limitations on local governments," Cisneros said. "Meanwhile the infrastructure continues to decline, and so some pioneering work is going to have to be done."

Cisneros said value could be generated by refurbishing infrastructure or launching more innovative setups, such as connecting utilities with renewable energy sources, replacing municipalities’ lights with LED bulbs or modernizing airport terminals. He expected the returns on these initiatives to be comparable to bonds, and therefore, an attractive addition to the portfolios of pension systems, insurance companies and high-net individuals. 

"There’s a number of projects that have been brought to our attention in the New York area," Cisneros said. "It is impressive to see how major public authorities in New York are recognizing the need to get New York’s infrastructure up to the world class level in areas such as airports, seaports, transportation systems, at times, higher education, public schools. And we hope to be involved in all of those areas."

Sarina Trangle