Side Letter: Chicago’s PE beef, Future Fund hire, Legend Capital

Chicago (and other local fiduciaries) want more transparency, and they want it now. Here’s today's brief, for our valued subscribers only.

Just happened

‘Kicking and screaming’ into transparency

The overwhelming belief from the investor community is that private equity firms are being dragged into transparency “kicking and screaming” and that something is being hidden. So said City of Chicago Treasurer Kurt Summers (pictured), speaking at PEI’s Responsible Investment Forum New York on Tuesday. LPs want more transparency from their private equity managers – and failure to act on this could cost them, he added.

“It should be 100 percent the opposite. You can be the arbiters of truth,” Summers said, noting a “movement” among local fiduciaries around responsibly investing their assets, and they’re not waiting for guidelines from regulators.

More from day one:

  • Diversity and inclusion was raised during virtually every panel discussion, with a consensus that institutional change needs to start at the top.
  • There was chatter among delegates on the FASB’s Taskforce on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures – no doubt we’ll hear more on this from day two’s climate change panel.
  • Watch out for the “wash”: “greenwashing”, “pinkwashing” and “bluewashing” all got a mention, highlighting the need for robust and effective due diligence on ESG practices.

Is Legend going long?

China’s Legend Capital, owner of Hollywood talent agency Creative Artists Agency and mobile video platform, has added a “strategic fund” to its series of private equity and venture capital funds, PEI has learned. We have few details (no target has been shared, nor do we know whether it is long-duration vehicle similar to CVC’s Strategic Opportunities Fund), but we do know it’s a specific mandate for a small number of large-ticket LPs.


Australia’s Future Fund has a new PE head. Following the departure of Steve Byrom, the A$147 billion ($105 billion; €91 billion) Future Fund has appointed a new head of private equity. Alicia Gregory previously spent 14 years at MLC Private Equity, a unit of the National Australia Bank.

GSO founder Bennett Goodman has a new pay deal at Blackstone, reports the Financial Times citing public company filings. In a nutshell, Goodman, the “G” in GSO (the “S” and “O” having already departed), will see his $200 million share award dating from 2015 vest more regularly. His benefits package will keep pace with all other Blackstone directors apart from Steve Schwarzman, the paper writes (paywall).

How to break into new strategies. BC Partners has moved from private equity into credit and is now working on its real estate credentials. Anyone thinking of doing the same thing could spend 10 minutes listening to this podcast with partner Nikos Stathopoulos talking about the playbook for new strategy launches.

Capital Dynamics is raising its first Japan fund, although it has been in the country – and managing capital for Japanese institutions via separate accounts – for nearly a decade. It will try to raise $100 million, mainly from Japanese corporate pensions.

Dig deeper

Want more data? There are more than 6,700 institutions in our database, including Future FundLegend CapitalBC PartnersCapital Dynamics and others from today’s Side Letter.

He said it

“You have the ability to really dictate everything from A to Z, have complete transparency and insight into data that we can’t even get into public companies; you have the ability to influence outcomes.”

City of Chicago Treasurer Kurt Summers tells delegates at the PEI Responsible Investment Forum New York it’s “ironic” private equity firms – the owners of companies – find data disclosure a challenge.

We would love your feedback to help us make this newsletter more useful; click here to give us your opinion.

Today’s letter was prepared by Toby Mitchenall,Preeti Singh, Rod James, Carmela Mendoza and Isobel Markham