Side Letter: CVC and secondaries, TPG healthcare hire, retail exposure guess who

2020 was going to be the year that more mega firms got into the secondaries business. Has covid-19 put a stop to that? Here’s today's brief, for our valued subscribers only.

He said it

“Unlocking this private capital will require a clear signal through an integrated and robust national climate policy suite that Australia is heading for net-zero emissions by 2050 consistent with our international obligations.”

Erwin Jackson, director of the Investor Group on Climate Change, says private capital is “critical” in achieving net-zero emissions, but that it needs encouragement. The IGCC is a collaboration between Australian and New Zealand institutional investors with more than A$2 trillion ($1.3 trillion; €1.2 trillion) of assets under management focusing on the impact of climate change on financial investments. Full story on Infrastructure Investor.

Just happened

CVC into secondaries

The $82.4 billion PE and credit giant CVC Capital Partners was in discussions as late as early this year about forming a secondaries buy-side unit. Sister title Secondaries Investor had the scoop last night.

While it has since shelved those plans due to the coronavirus crisis, it is one of several buyout firms that have considered or are actively considering a route into the market.

Said Carlo Pirzio-Biroli, managing partner of secondaries firm Glendower Capital, when we asked him for his 2020 predictions for the secondaries market late last year: “One of the few large remaining independent secondaries houses will be purchased by a large alternatives platform. That’s driven by large platforms continuing to grow AUM and add business lines, and taking advantage of succession considerations that emerge occasionally with independent managers.”

CVC’s large buyout peers Blackstone and Carlyle both already have secondaries units. Elsewhere in asset management, BlackRock and Manulife both hired senior secondaries professionals last year to build strategies.


Guess the firm. In search of a novel way to spend Friday afternoons with your colleagues over Zoom? Introducing “Guess the firm”, based on a list (below) published by secondaries broker NYPPEX of the top 10 private equity sponsors by their most exposure to the retail industry. NYPPEX invites investors considering cutting their exposure to retail (no doubt given the covid-induced downturn) to get in touch with them for the full list (it is an intermediary after all). Can you name them all?

Listen. Want to pretend you are commuting? The Financial Times’ latest Behind the Money podcast focuses on Carlyle’s broken deal with American Express Global Business Travel.

Dig deeper

Cathay big spender. Cathay Life Insurance has agreed to commit $50 million to KKR Asian Fund IV. The private equity vehicle is managed by KKR and will target the consumer goods, manufacturing, technology, media and telecommunications sectors across Asia-Pacific. Other commitments made by the insurer in 2020 include to CVC Capital Partners VIII, Thoma Bravo Fund XIV and Silver Lake Partners VI.

For more information on Cathay Life Insurance, as well as more than 5,900 other institutions, check out the PEI database.

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Today’s letter was prepared by Toby MitchenallIsobel Markham, Adam Le and Rod James.

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