Dave Schulte, president and CEO of CorEnergy Infrastructure Trust Inc. (NYSE: CORR), participated in a video interview at Nareit’s REITworld: 2018 Annual Conference in San Francisco.
Schulte said that a mix of roughly 60 percent institutional investors and 40 percent retail investors “goes to the genesis of our whole company,” noting that energy infrastructure assets are usually held by upstream producers or by midstream, master limited partnerships (MLP).
“The MLP structure has certain challenges for institutional ownership,” he said. “So, they’re really suitable for inside ownership, limited, dedicated institutional structures, and then retail.”
REITs, on the other hand, were designed to overcome those challenges, Schulte said.
“By owning energy infrastructure inside of a REIT, we appeal to institutional investors broadly—both U.S. and non-U.S.—and also to retail investors who value stability in the dividends stream,” he said. “We expect our ownership interest to be more institutional than retail, but to have generally the same reliability and income focus for both audiences.”
Schulte said that when considering acquisitions, CorEnergy is focused on diversification across the energy value chain and across energy commodities. He added that the market has evolved dramatically since oil prices collapsed in 2014 and 2015.
“Equity investors in oil and gas companies want discipline inside of the oil and gas company, meaning they need to be able to live within their means from a drilling standpoint,” he said.