Summit participants gave the meeting positive reviews. Ananth Prasad, secretary of the Florida DOT—a leader in transportation P3s—told ENR that the summit was helpful in hearing what private investors are looking for from owners. Those factors, hes said, include creating a marketplace for P3-type projects and agreeing on “some sort of standardization“ in that sector.
Private investors don’t view all projects as good prospects, Prasad notes. “So project selection is key, engaging the industry...and early, and trying to have a predictability is the bottom line of success,” he says.
Some panel members at the conference outlined projects on which they had worked. Jim Tymon, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials director of management and program finance, says it was beneficial to hear about individual projects that went well. But moving forward, he says, “Let’s find ways to take those successes and replicate them nationwide.”
Jane Garvey, North American fund chairman of Meridiam, New York City, says that the meeting elicited “some very concrete suggestions, specific ideas.”
Garvey, former chief of the Federal Aviation Administration and acting head of the Federal Highway Administration, adds that the next step is “translating that into action items…many of which can be acted on administratively,” rather than through a probably lengthy legislative process.
Former U.S. DOT Secretary Rodney Slater, now a partner with law firm Squire Patton Boggs LLP, says that after the meeting, “I think that you’re probably going to see something happen on the private side, where they say, ‘Look, with all this effort on the public side, what can we do to match that energy?’”
Tyler Duvall, a principal in McKinsey & Co.’s Washington office, says he thinks the Lew-Foxx report will include recommendations on project prioritization and projects’ pre-development phases.
Duvall, a former top U.S. DOT policy official, sees the main challenges for innovative financing center on management, process, and politics.
“I don’t think we need 50 new financing tools,” he adds. “I think we’ve got a good set of tools today. And we’ve got a lot of people who want to invest in this country.”