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Thierry Chamayou, Vice-President of Cloud and Service Providers in EMEA, Schneider Electric
Chair: Mark Chester, Partner, Eversheds Sutherland
Milan Radia, SVP Edgnex/SVP Data Centres Damac Properties
Rick Shrotri, Managing Partner, Digital Alpha Advisors LLP
Dharman Sury, Head of Data Centre Development Europe, Brookfield Asset Management
$Billion Dollar Growth Funds and their impact on the Data Center market
Over the past two years billions of dollars have been closed in funds designed to invest in global data centre and digital infrastructure markets. Private equity, large investment firms, pension and sovereign wealth funds and more recently Alt institutional investors have spent tens of billions of dollars through acquisitions of data center platforms and poised to invest more, substantially shifting ownership in the sector. The surge in remote work and virtual business models, cloud services, e-commerce, gaming, video streaming and other digital services has in turn spurred demand for digital transformation initiatives. Investors recognize that data centers as an asset class has changed over the past two years alone in terms of its importance and maturity. Investment structures have also expanded from triple net lease real estate model of data centres through to investment in operating firms taking development risk on new fibre construction.
- What is the scale and size of potential dollar investment in digital infrastructure by class over the next twelve months?
- How have the risk/reward profiles of investments in this sector changed over the past two years?
- What is the perspective of digital transformation in the medium term
- How much are some of these investments speculative?
- How are margins performing?
- What are the risks associated with exit from these markets?
Chair and introduction: Jonathan Kinsey, Head of EMEA Data Centre Services, JLL
Chris Crosby, CEO, Compass Datacenters
Neil Cresswell, CEO, Virtus Data Centres, an STT Global Data Centres Company
Giuliano Di Vitantonio, CEO, AtlasEdge Data Centers
Rupprecht Rittweger, CEO, Investa Holding GmbH
Data Center Platforms – Future Value and Growth
Digital transformation has previously been the preserve of the CIO but CFOs have increasingly harnessed the power of data and technology and assumed the role of sponsors of transformation, efficiency and growth. With that financial focus, enterprise digitalization has been a part of business roadmaps prior to the pandemic and their perspectives have always been informed by the need to balance return on investment in digital transformation with investments in the medium term business objectives. The pandemic accelerated a shift of application and data management to cloud, and the demand for a platform of infrastructure and networks nationally or internationally As the macro environment is likely to be tougher over the next twelve months, will data centers need to take bets on how to finance and what outcomes to expect from investment?.
- As corporate assets become digital, how is the financial risk and threat evaluated?
- How do data center customers balance investment in innovation for long term growth with the need to see short-term profitability and dividends?
- Is the next stage for your organization incremental expansion, acquisition, new build or other opportunities? And is this more likely to be national or international?
- How would you raise funds if required? Which financial instruments are preferred?
- Where do you see the principal opportunities for investments over the next twelve months?
- Will data center platforms develop new Edge strategies to retain enterprise customers
Chair: Andrew Jay, Executive Director, Advisory & Transaction Services, CBRE
Sicco Boomsma, Managing Director TMT - EMEA Technology Sector, ING
David Bloom, Partner at Noé Group, Founder of Goldacre
Ulrich Stark, Executive Director, Siemens Bank GmbH, London Branch
Romain Le Melinaidre, Investment Director, Generali Global Infrastructure
M&A, multiples and valuations – how high can they go?
As an institutional investment class, pricing for core data centres is becoming extremely competitive and many more investors are entering the space. Acquisitions and multiples – achieving between 30 to 38x - have accelerated over the past two years. With funds closing billions of dollars, cash deals have been at the forefront of M&A activity. Owners of neutral, multi-tenanted data centre platforms, sometimes across several countries are well placed to leverage uptake by enterprises in the post pandemic period. And targeting enterprise and government customers, they may become targets themselves for, or drivers of, consolidation.
- Do the current multiples add up? Are we likely to see bigger valuations?
- What primarily attracts investors to data centres?
- Many of the acquisitions that have taken place are in the US and Europe. Which geographies do you see in the next phase of M&A?
- Do you foresee multiples and values increasing further?
- How do you evaluate risk in terms of the asset class itself, and its potential vulnerability to cyber attacks?
- What are the key drivers of value in the sector?
Chair: Conor Plant, Partner, HTC
Andile Ngcaba, Executive Chairman, Convergence Partners
Visionary Keynote: Investment in Fibre, Subsea Cables and Data Centers – The future of digital infrastructure in Africa
Chair and Introduction: Conor Plant, Partner, HTC
Guy Willner, Executive Chairman & Director, International Data Centre Group
Stephane Duproz, Group Executive Director, SVP, Cassava Technologies
Dr Ayotunde Coker, CEO, Open Access Data Centre
Wouter van Hulten, CEO & Founder, PAIX Data Centres
Ranjith Cherickel, CEO, iColo Data Centers
Investing in Digitizing and Powering Africa
Africa’s growing importance coincides with a global influx of capital to build digital infrastructure. Yet the continent’s infrastructure remains massively under-invested with reportedly less than 1 per cent of global data centre supply, outdated power systems, and scant terrestrial fibre. South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya and Egypt stand out as more advanced in terms of infrastructure development but the new subsea cable systems and cable landing stations around the continent are driving new markets and opportunities. The Africa Data Centre Report suggests that future demand will come from small and medium-sized enterprises, and government agencies, who are likely to underpin the market, with more than 70% of African organisations estimated to shift to the cloud by 2025.
- What is the scale of investment needed to deploy infrastructure and power across the continent?
- How will digital infrastructure in Africa be powered now and in the future?
- With 54 countries across the continent, which markets are likely to present more intensively the next stage of digital infrastructure development?
- What are the major financial risks Africa confronts in its digital development?
- Is Africa likely to become a net exporter of Hydrogen?
Chair: Lina Tayara, CEO, Orient Consulting Services
Fabio Fontana, CEO, ZeroPoint DC, Chief Growth Officer, NEOM Tech & Digital3
New Data Center Opportunities in NEOM
Dr Ahmad Al-Yamani, CEO, Takamol
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: Investment in digital transformation and giga projects
Keynote: Narendra Sen, CEO, RackBank
How will hypergrowth impact the data center market in India?
Market entry by new players, hyperscalers and planned Edge deployment has evidenced substantial investment over the past 24 months. Factors such as land, power, and fibre availability combined with enormous market drivers such as cloud adoption, e-commerce, data localization, data generation by half a billion internet users, emergence of tier II and III cities for large scale Edge deployment, government initiatives, fintech and mobile video will shape the dynamics of the market over the coming years. Data centres are set to power the country’s fast-paced digital transformation creating an estimated economic value of US$1 trillion by 2025. In tandem energy capacity demand will escalate with forecasts suggesting 4000MW over next five years.
Chair and Introduction: Vincent Barro, Vice-President Secure Power & Datacenter Business, Schneider Electric
Eric Lamendour, Head of Green Data Center Business Platform, ENGIE
Phil Read, Head of Energy Transition, RED Engineering
14.40 Panel discussion:
Andy Lawrence, Executive Director of Research, Uptime Institute
Jens-Peter Feidner, Managing Director, Equinix Germany
Renewable Energy and Decarbonisation – why ESG is critical for Data Centre Investment
Customers are driving the trend in scrutinizing supply chains to ensure they are consistent with their own sustainability goals to meet ESG plans. As contributors to indirect carbon emissions given the large power demands for IT load capacity has shifted consideration for investors from a peripheral concern to mainstream. Consumption of energy by data centres have made them prone in some circumstances to public review and political action. Post-pandemic, during which operators needed to scale very quickly, there is a focus on cost control. The circular economy has also moved up in importance to sustainability strategies. To achieve carbon reductions and zero use in the decades ahead, renewable energy options for data centres – wind, solar, hydroelectric – are being actively considered to include geothermal energy, green hydrogen and even nuclear. It has also led to increased focus on water scarcity and reducing the impact of data centres on local water supplies. In Europe the sector is targeting 100% renewable energy by 2030.
- What is the critical link between investment and green energy?
- Many investors are still in the process of determining their frameworks around ESG analysis - how do they assess risk without precise ESG benchmarks in place?
- Some government initiatives offer building power platforms providing on-site power adjacent to large scale campus developments – is this a trend that is likely to continue?
- How do investors rank new power solutions?
Chair: Loren Long, Managing Director, SLEdge Consulting
Eddie Kilbane, CEO, Kilon Holdings , Co-Investor in L51Campus Liverpool, UK
Thierry Chamayou, Vice-President of Cloud and Service Providers in EMEA, Schneider Electric
Ali Moinuddin, Chief Corporate Development Officer & Managing Director Europe, Uptime Institute
Ben Bloomfield, Co-Founder and Head of Strategy and Corporate Development, CIN
Is Edge still eating the Cloud?
It is suggested that a maxim for investing is that everything popular in technology is always replaced by something else. That the cloud should be supplanted by Edge computing is no exception. Where data systems have been dependent on the capacity of a centralized cloud-based location, the decentralised nature of Edge can be scaled out to millions of sites.
During the pandemic, e-commerce and remote lifestyles accelerated the adoption of cloud-based solutions which reduce operating costs for enterprises, provide increased speeds, and improve reliability. Yet the Internet of Things comprising of billions of devices promises to become a massive market over the next ten years with low latency connectivity and real time processing near to the data source.
Industry reports suggest that the edge computing market will increase at a CAGR of 19% to reach US$87.30 bn by 2026.
- Is Cloud going to become the last point of data storage?
- Does the conversation now between cloud and Edge hinge on which is decreasing faster: the cost and latency of data transmission or the cost of “smarter” edge equipment?
- Will Edge really obviate the need for Cloud?
Chair and Introduction: Mark Thiele, CEO, Edgevana
Dr Vijak Haddadi, CoFounder & CEO, Syncronic
Simon Brown, CTO, FAR
Miki Elson FRSA, Founder Artsect DAO
Jorge Sebastiao, Co Founder & Executive Director, Global Blockchain Organization
Towards a metaverse infrastructure
The metaverse that today’s data infrastructure can handle is a very segregated one — a network of small digital spaces for small groups. However the metaverse is tomorrow’s technology, and it is expected that over the next 7-10 Years the scale and deployment of infrastructure for blockchains will contribute to the usability of a coming metaverse. In the meantime, enterprises need to understand how to approach metaverse and what IT infrastructure will be required to reach it. Some thought leaders believe that metaverse will need a computational efficiency 1,000 times greater than today’s state of the art can offer. The interaction foreseen in a virtual world but in real time presents a formidable challenge.
- Which platforms today are already gaining traction?
- How will current perceptions of crypto and bitcoin change as decentralization of networks is sustained?
- How will the three components of digital infrastructure: the digital core, ecosystem and edge contribute to the evolution of metaverse?
- Will the convergence of metaverse and ESG ignite brand new investment opportunities across the sector?
Chair: Bernard Lecanu, President, BLIC Consulting
Alexandre Delaval, Managing Director France & Luxembourg, Data4
Michaël Cohen, Directeur Advisory Data Center, CBRE
Geraldine Camara, Déléguée Générale, France Datacenter Association
Thomas Hombert, Managing Director France, Etix Everywhere
France Data Centre Market – Drivers and Growth
One of the best-graded countries with a robust network infrastructure in place, large data consumer pool, high cloud penetration rate from both end-users and enterprises and strong connectivity, France is among 4 countries in Europe with the highest number of colocation data centres. With the increased need for low latency services in tier II and tier III cities, locations outside Paris such as Marseille, Strasbourg, Bordeaux, and Mougins have attracted investment. Aiming to achieve a renewable energy mix of around 25% by next year, France is experiencing a digital boom with AI, blockchain, drones, the Internet of Things (IoT), robotics, 3D printing and virtual reality (VR) driving the data centre market.
The France Datacenter Association is mobilising collective intelligence and sharing best practice to strengthen the resilience of infrastructure, protect the environment, and accelerate the development of the data centre sector in France.
- Do you foresee power supply challenges for data centres over the next 12 months? Will power reserved for the Olympics impact? How will this be mitigated?
- Outside of Paris which tier II markets will be the most attractive for data centre investment?
- Do you predict increased M&A activity in the French market?
- France is rated as fourth in the FLAP-D rankings – how will it achieve a place in the top 3?
- What do you believe will be the most challenging to sustained growth of the data centre sector in France?
- How can data centres be leveraged for ecological transition?
Chair: Nicola Hayes, Assistant Dean, London South Bank University
Anna Klaft, Chairwoman, German Datacenter Association ev
Data Centre Market Review: Germany
details to follow shortly...
The Terrace, Palais des Congrès
Chair: Jaymie Scotto, Founder & CEO, Jaymie Scotto & Associates (JSA)
Sarah Moore-Williams, Dean of Business School, LSBU
Monika Grass, Owner, Grass Consulting
Lina Tayara, CEO, Orient Consulting Services
Elodie Michaels, Business Unit Leader Data Centres, CBRE
Deborah McGargle, CEO, FAR
Roundtable: Women in Tech
details to follow shortly...
Chair: Nicola Hayes, Assistant Dean, London South Bank University
Jonathan Hime, Managing Partner – Founder, Equiida
Catherine Adam, Founder & Director, Alchemy
Andy Davis, Director, DataX Connect
Dr. Dmitriy Antropov, Co-Head Private Infrastructure Integrated Investments, Senior Member of Management, Partners Group
The ROI of a diverse and inclusive management board
The topic of diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace has been at the forefront of business conversations for some time.
Collaboration and commitment in companies have been shown to be demonstrably higher where inclusivity and diversity are evident as strong policies and research has also shown are more likely to experience above-average profitability and ROI than that of their industry peers.
This discussion is focused on the advantages achieved and financial payback for investors where management boards of acquired companies are positively structured, implementing strategies to increase diversity in all its forms and why diversity and inclusivity should be included in due diligence.
Chair: Alex Rabbetts, Vice President & Managing Director, European Data Centres Association
Simon Allen, Executive Director, Infrastructure Masons
Jaymie Scotto, Founder & CEO, Jaymie Scotto Associates (JSA)
Henry Daunert, EVP, AQ Compute
Matthew Baynes, Vice President, Design & Construction Partners, Cloud & Service Provider Segment at Schneider Electric
Caroline Cochran, Co-Founder & COO, Okla Inc
The ROI roadmap for Data Center Carbon Emission Mitigation and reaching Net Zero
Climate change and sustainability are driving investor conversations about corporate social responsibility, ESG and reaching Net Zero. Reducing carbon emissions is one of the most critical goals for the data center industry today. As demand for digital infrastructure accelerates, data center operators need to find the means to meet new and unprecedented levels of demand, while taking immediate steps towards curbing carbon emissions.
- What are the initial steps for data centers towards carbon net-zero greenhouse gas emissions?
- How big is the investment risk?
- To what extent will sustainability converge with enhanced infrastructure automation through more sophisticated monitoring, and AI based control systems?
- Will carbon net-zero data centres by 2030 be achieved?
Ed Ansett, Chairman, i3 Solutions Group
Paul Besley, Head, Europe DC Operations, CapitaLand International
Site Selection in an era of challenging energy transition
As some of the world’s leading data center markets – Singapore, Amsterdam, Dublin and others – suspend or temporarily pause international data center development, combined with growing concerns amid the international crisis for energy supply security not only in Europe but globally, what criteria will be used to select the best sites for land acquisition and, or, new build? How will energy policy makers impact data center markets in the foreseeable future?
- What are the criteria for Site selecting Tier II and III hubs with market access, clean energy, connectivity, latency and security
- Where are the new hubs and what market access will they be able to offer and how quickly?
- In the changing environment, how will Tier II and III hubs now compete and fine strong USPs?
- Where are energy platforms being established, and how price competitive will they become?
- Will proposals for Hydrogen and Nuclear energy solutions be sustained?
Charlie Evans, Vice President, Digital Infrastructure M&A, Greenhill
Winners and Losers in the Data Center Market and Outlook for 2023
Farewell Barbeque - The Terrace, Palais des Congrès