Away from the mainstream

Looking at this issue of Private Equity International, you'd be forgiven for thinking that we wanted to make some kind of statement about private equity's continuing appetite for the unconventional. In Privately Speaking, Chris Brotchie of BPEP talks about how the firm has grown a multi-billion euro business whilst having an 80 per cent exposure to emerging markets around the world. We've also looked at fundraising in Japan and found that international general partners looking for new money are becoming more aware that in terms of doing business it is no longer the place that is further away from it all than any other. Next Joe Bartlett concludes his discussion of what a viable venture capital culture in developing economies should look like, and we used Asset Class to examine why a group of blue chip corporate investors should have decided to back a project that on the face of it looks guilty of committing not one but two of venture capital's very deadly sins: if Darby Investment's launching a new early stage technology venture at this point in time is bold, then doing it in Latin America must surely be reckless – or is it?

Then there's the cover story, which looks at another private equity activity that is unfolding off the beaten track. The secondaries market, although in no way constrained by any geographical boundaries thanks to a genuinely global mandate, remains an emerging market in its own right. Albeit one that is making rapid progress towards fulfilling its main promise to the asset class: playing a key role in removing its proverbial illiquidity. Secondaries is evolving fast, in a convulsive and not very orderly process, from which the industry stands to benefit enormously. What these themes have in common is that they all evidence the entrepreneurial spirit and willingness to go off-road in search of value that makes private equity the dynamic and innovative community that it is. We didn't intend to string them together as if to stage a celebration, but given what private equity gets up to, it isn't a coincidence that they should have all come together in this issue. We hope you enjoy the read.

Philip Borel

Managing Editor