PEI’s podcast highlights from 2021

PEI Media’s Spotlight podcast series was downloaded nearly 47,000 times over the past 12 months, with discussions ranging from distressed debt to ESG-linked fund finance.

Although 2021 has been one of the busiest years ever for private markets executives the world over, thousands still found time to digest a podcast or two.

PEI Media’s Spotlight podcast series was downloaded nearly 47,000 times over the past 12 months, with discussions spanning the pantheon of alternatives from distressed debt, to inflationary pressures, to ESG-linked fund finance.

Here are some of this year’s highlights from across the PEI Media stable.

Where did all the distressed money go?

Large amounts of capital have been raised for distressed strategies in private debt and real estate, but because of government support schemes, finding a home for it has proved a challenge. In this June episode, affiliate titles Private Debt Investor and PERE looked at distressed opportunities – or, rather, the lack thereof – that have cropped up in the wake of covid-19. While plenty of opportunistic capital has been raised in recent years, much of it during the height of the pandemic, the window for deploying those funds proved surprisingly narrow.

ESG-linked fund finance: Sustainability step change or window dressing?

KKREurazeoEQTCarlyle and Quadria Capital: these private fund firms were all early adopters in an emerging private markets trend. Each firm has secured lines of credit for which the cost is linked to environment, social or governance metrics.

Managers putting their money where their ESG mouth is – what’s not to like? Well, journalists are naturally sceptical, and the Private Equity International editors are no exception. In this March episode of the Spotlight podcast, they discuss terms, transparency and whether a credit facility is really the most effective vessel for the ESG carrot and stick.

Should you build your portfolio on secondaries?

For LPs trying to build a private equity portfolio, a common first step is to invest in secondaries. The idea is that investing in diversified pools of mature assets leads to quick distributions, helping to mitigate the J-curve commonly seen in the early days of a portfolio’s life.

A book published by industry specialists over the summer, Asset Allocation and Private Markets: A Guide to Investing with Private Equity, Private Debt and Private Real Assets, cast doubt on this perceived wisdom. In this September episode of Spotlight, PEI examined the arguments with co-author Cyril Demaria and Greenhill’s head of European capital advisory Bernhard Engelien.

How inflationary pressures are likely to play out in private equity

An ongoing concern this year has been how private equity will be impacted by rising inflation. In August, PEI caught up with Nicholas Brooks, head of economic and investment research at ICG, to discuss the most important things GPs need to consider in an era of inflation and potential interest rate rises.

Inside KKR’s employee ownership initiative

In April, affiliate title New Private Markets caught up with Pete Stavros, partner and co-head of Americas private equity at KKR, to discuss the firm’s approach to giving employees equity in companies, and how it could catch on.