July / August 2012 Issue

    First Round: Took our breath away

    The private equity industry was forged in the white-hot crucible of 1980s excess. So it comes as no surprise to First Round that at our recent Operating Partners conference, a buyout pro chose to channel one of the decade’s most seminal action films to make his point.

    Budget constraints

    Limited partners are now routinely asking to see firms’ budgets to understand how management fees are being spent. Such requests will only become more common.

    LP Radar: The LP-LP divide

    The once harmonious LP community appears to be dividing into different classes, depending on how they invest. This disharmony has forced GPs to tread carefully in explaining why different LPs get different terms

    Distressed debt: eye of the storm?

    Distressed debt funds are attracting a lot of capital at the moment. But with banks apparently in denial about the extent of their problems, deals remain thin on the ground

    Deal Mechanic: Profits in sight

    In five years, Fenway Partners doubled EBITDA at contact lens company 1-800 CONTACTS - without eliminating a single job

    How the AIFM will affect private equity pay

    New regulations intended to promote better risk management will place additional restrictions on both the fixed and variable elements of GPs’ pay, writes Solomon Wifa

    Fund lawyers on the move

    US law firms have been luring fund specialists away from their European rivals as they look to establish a greater foothold in the region. But don’t write off the old guard yet. Claire Coe Smith reports

    On The Record: Sophie Albizua, The eNova Partnership

    Sophie Albizua used to be a retail specialist at UK mid-market firm HgCapital. She now runs her own firm advising retail sector clients (and their private equity owners) on how to generate more value from multichannel strategies

    Operating models: Us and them

    These days, everyone is at pains to trumpet their operational value-add capabilities. But, as delegates wondered at PEI’s recent Operating Partners Forum in London, can firms ensure their model won’t lead to the ‘operators’ falling out with their M&A-focused colleagues?

    Nicholas Pye, Buyout Guy: Properly canine

    Our hero enjoys his first experience of a portfolio company board meeting. His boss does not.

    Taiwan: the outlier

    Given its economic strength and financial sophistication, Taiwan should be one of Asia’s more advanced markets. So where is the private equity activity?

    Romneywatch: Red, blue and green

    A study suggests a link between Republican policies and private equity performance – and the industry’s recent political donations certainly suggest a leaning to the right. But is the relationship weaker than it looks on the surface?

    Germany roundtable There’s confidence out there

    The storm over Europe is tearing into investment strategies across the continent. However, the private equity opportunity in Germany, according to three market insiders, remains intact.

    US fills the debt gap?

    European companies have been tapping into new financing sources in the US, as banks in their own region pull in their horns. But will it be enough to save the dozens of private equity-backed businesses in danger of default?

    Privately Speaking: Apax's Martin Halusa (et al.), Apax Partners

    In 2012, PEI met Halusa, Sillitoe and Truwit to talk about the future of Apax