Many design firms in infrastructure markets are seeking alternative financing sources for projects. Parsons Corp. is taking the next step by creating a new group, Parsons Enterprises, to help create alternative financing plans and, in the right cases, invest in the projects themselves.
“The joke has been that you would go to conferences on alternative financing and discuss the same three projects over and over,” says Ruth McMorrow, new executive vice president at Parsons. McMorrow helped arrange public-private deals on civil works as an investment banker at Scotia Capital, Toronto.
“It will be our job to assist clients in determining whether a particular project lends itself to alternative financing and provide them options on how to proceed,” McMorrow says. “We provide clients options, and they decide what is best for them.”
But Parsons is not simply willing to advise clients. “We proceed on the assumption that we may be an equity partner in the project,” McMorrow says. Parsons has worked on several P3 projects, including Autoroute 25 in Montreal. McMorrow says that she already is reviewing 12projects from other units of Parsons that may be equity financing candidates in the transportation and water sectors.