J.P. Morgan Global Alternatives has closed a $480 million
fund to invest in distressed shipping assets, attracting
capital from pensions, endowments and insurance companies.
The firm, which has been investing in maritime for more than
a decade, initially targeted $400 million for the fund,
according to J.P. Morgan Global Alternatives managing partner
Anton Pil. Its already invested $312
million in 14 deals.
The shipping industry has been under stress for the past 18
months, said Pil, with J.P. Morgan Global Alternatives
estimating the shipping industry needs $4.5 trillion in
financing over the next 10 years. He said investors were
interested in the new fund in part because shipping is one of
few struggling sectors with cheap assets.
The mood around shipping hasnt been great,
Pil said. But thats when you get the best
The shipping industry is sensitive to macroeconomic trends
such as global free trade policies, which are under threat from
countries like the U.S. and the U.K., according to Pil. In the
U.S., President Trump, for example, campaigned on the promise
to rein in global trade, which he claims hurt U.S. workers. In
the U.K., populist voters opted for Brexit, with Britain set to divorce the
European trading bloc in 2019.
Pil remains confident about the long-term prospects of
shipping despite current conditions. He said that global trade
might not be growing at 8 percent a year as it has in the past,
but that shipping is still the most efficient way to move goods
around the world.
J.P. Morgan Global Alternatives has $1.26 billion in
institutional client capital dedicated to shipping strategies,
and says it ranks in the top 5 percent of ship owners
Even in good times, the sector can help investors diversify
Clients are always open to finding and accessing parts
of the market that arent well covered and that have
unique characteristics, said Pil.