LPs, GPs ‘speed date’ in New York

A select 75 general partners are holed up in 75 private rooms at the Sheraton New York for the first of a two-day summit organised by the Institutional Limited Partners Association – an event described by one attendee as “speed-dating”.

The Institutional Limited Partners Association today kicked off its first event to co-mingle limited partners with select general partners.

The event, held at the Sheraton New York and called the General Partner Summit, included a standard-format panel discussion, but also involves one-on-one meetings between limited partners and general partners. Previous ILPA meetings have been essentially closed non-members of the trade association, which includes the largest backers of private equity programmes in the world.

The 75 general partners invited to attend the summit have been assigned 75 private rooms in the Sheraton in which they meet with individual ILPA members. The rooms include a conference table, but beds have been removed for what one source described as hour-long “speed dates”.

“It’s all about marketing to LPs and opening up new relationships”, the source said.

An opening panel discussion included Larry Schloss of Diamond Castle Holdings; Tom Ruggles of the Washington State Investment Board; Garrett McDonald, a principal investment officer, of the World Bank; and Larry Rusoff of GM Asset Management.

The opening panel topic, regarding valuation standards, found limited partners more in favour of GAAP-based reporting, which panelists agreed would have the effect of typically higher reported valuations and greater volatility. GPs tend to favour a more conservative approach to valuations, biased toward realisations and away from interim adjustments.