February 2012 Issue

    The slow cull

    Contrary to the prevailing view that LPs are reducing their GP relationships, a survey suggests that most actually added managers during 2011.

    On the record

    In the current climate, focusing on top-line growth through operational value creation is clearly the most effective way to generate strong returns. UK mid-market buyout firm ECI has chosen to do this by creating an in-house commercial team staffed by ex-consultants. Managing director Sean Whelan explains how this strategy can help portfolio companies grow rapidly – even in a low-growth environment

    First round: Working progress

    Private equity types tend to be pretty industrious folk, particularly around deal time. Being a lazy and feckless sort of magazine intro section, First Round has always looked upon this propensity with admiration, yes, but also some alarm. Could it be the case, it has often wondered, that this industry has a problem with workaholism? […]

    First round: Worth a punt

    NFL kicker Billy Cundiff may have earned a degree of infamy by missing a routine 31-yard field goal in January that cost the Baltimore Ravens a trip to the Super Bowl. But at least he has a track record of hedging his bets, should his kicking days come to an abrupt end. Back in 2009, […]

    First round: In a world of Bain

    “King of Bain: When Mitt Romney Came to Town” is a purported documentary exposé of Mitt Romney and Bain Capital’s wily, asset-plundering ways, produced by a political action committee in support of rival Newt Gingrich. With all the subtlety and nuance of a Meatloaf power ballad, it looks to paint Romney as a Gordon Gekko-type […]

    First round: Monumental generosity

    First round: Monumental generosity 2012-02-01 Staff Writer Carlyle Group founder David Rubenstein earned the gratitude of his fellow Washingtonians this month by promising to donate a whopping $7.5 million to fix the Washington Monument, which has been closed since last August because of earthquake damage.&l

    The benchmark LP

    Since taking the helm at CalPERS in early 2009, CIO Joseph Dear has made it clear he considers private equity a crucial part of its investment strategy. But things haven’t been business as usual: he’s taken fund managers to task over alignment of interest, led an overhaul of the pension’s allocation model, sorted out the aftermath of a ‘pay-to-play’ scandal and hired a veteran private equity chief. Amanda Janis stops by Dear’s office in Sacramento to learn how CalPERS continues to find value in private equity

    First Round: The youth of today

    First Round: The youth of today 2012-02-01 Staff Writer When First Round was 16... Actually, First Round can’t really remember what it was doing aged 16, but it can say with some confidence that it didn’t involve anything useful or constructive. Moreover, its computing skills amounted to a mastery of Street

    In search of the holy grail

    Neither LPs nor GPs are happy with current reporting practices – but efforts to produce some standard templates have not received universal acclaim.

    Inside Indochina

    Macroeconomic woes are now Vietnam’s biggest obstacle, but valuations are coming down and multinationals are coming in to buy

    In Focus: Getting the terms right on co-investment

    Co-investing is an attractive proposition for most LPs – but it’s important to insist on certain legal protections, write Proskauer’s Howard Beber and Joshua Watson

    Secondaries start 2012 at a sprint

    Several large portfolios have already come to the market; industry sources expect other sellers who took fright in the second half of last year to follow suit

    Deal Mechanic: Sole trader

    In the first of our new regular series on operational value creation, Private Equity International takes an in-depth look at Graphite Capital’s success with shoe retailer Kurt Geiger. By James Taylor

    Inside JC Flowers’ troubled fund

    Investments in MF Global, Shinsei, Hypo Real Estate and Nordbank will likely leave LPs in JC Flowers’ $7bn Fund II with losses. Sam Sutton reports

    A year of living dangerously

    Private equity is already under attack from politicians and regulators, and Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign is likely to attract even more unwanted attention. James Taylor and Nicholas Donato report

    Through good times and bad

    Private equity outperforms public markets even in difficult macroeconomic climates – and thus isn’t riskier at all, according to a recent study