Friday Letter Lights, camera, action

Emerging markets private equity is the star attraction in the first PEO Video offering launched this week.  

Longtime subscribers to PrivateEquityOnline will recall the site was founded on offering video interviews with leading industry figures. We were ahead of the times – or the technology available to most subscribers, as it were – and accordingly soon shifted our focus to delivering high-quality, insightful news stories, features and commentary.

Today our news team obviously continues to do the latter. But to complement our coverage of the global private equity industry, we are now going back to our roots and adding rich media initiatives in coming months.

PEO Video launched this week with several episodes focused on the hot topic of emerging markets private equity. Emerging markets have grabbed a great deal of attention from both LPs and GPs, but how will the niche fare in the face of the global financial crisis?

At the recent PEI Emerging Markets Forum in London, PEO editor Amanda Janis pulled three speakers aside to hear their thoughts on this and other emerging markets private equity issues:

Bill Emmott, former editor of The Economist, explains why Russia, Central Asia, the Gulf, Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America may “go out of fashion for a while”.

Chris Rowlands, head of 3i’s Asia operations, discusses the exponential growth Asian companies are enjoying despite the global economic slowdown, as well as the search for exits now that local stock markets have stalled.

Jonathon Bond, head of fundraising and investor relations for Actis, explains LPs’ changing risk perceptions of emerging markets and why the entrance of bulge bracket firms – as well as the global financial crisis – can be seen as good things for emerging markets players.

While each discusses separate issues, their interrelated views emphasise that emerging markets do or will experience similar issues to those being encountered by mature private equity markets. The global financial crisis may cause some emerging markets-focused firms to slightly adapt investment strategies, or to focus more intently on one region versus another, but the sine qua non is opportunities await and LP appetites remain.