Side Letter: Invest Europe CEO exits, diversity laggards, Bain funds restructure

The British head of European PE and VC industry body Invest Europe is leaving. We can't help but feel there's a Brexit pun to be made. Here’s today's brief, for our valued subscribers only.

Just happened

Invest Europe chief out

News just in: Michael Collins is standing down as chief exec of Invest Europe after six years in the job. He announced the news at the industry body’s CFO Forum in Valencia, which will be his last event. We’ll keep you updated on his replacement.

What diversity?

Diversity has a mighty long way to go, according to LGT Capital Partners’ latest ESG Report 2019. More than half of private equity firms surveyed do not have a diversity policy and two-thirds don’t even consider it in their investment process. Some other findings:

  • 65 percent of firms achieved ‘excellent’ or ‘good’ ESG ratings this year, up seven percentage points YoY
  • Larger managers are much more likely to be highly rated for ESG adoption, with none of the mega-managers assigned ‘poor’ ratings this year
  • US managers are making headway, with almost half of firms there rated ‘excellent’ or ‘good’, up nine percentage points

Bain’s restructuring

Bain Capital is the latest blue-chip manager to use the secondaries market to give its LPs the option to cash out of a fund in a so-called GP-led deal. The firm has closed a deal to restructure two of its pre-crisis credit funds, per sister title Secondaries Investor. Neuberger Berman backed the transaction, which was worth as much as $500 million. Credit fund secondaries remain a tiny portion of the overall market (think 1 percent) but sources say this could be the next big opportunity.


Pairing up right for co-investing. In the second instalment of our deep dive into the world of co-investment, we look at what it takes to be a good investment partner in an increasingly competitive environment. The most important element is having the infrastructure set up to deliver – or give a “quick no” – on a short time frame, as well as offering managers both transparency and predictability.

Apax returns. Apax Partners – ranked 15th in the PEI 300 – is back in market seeking $10.5 billion for its 10th flagship, according to Minnesota State Board of Investment documents. The firm’s best performing flagship over the last 15 years is its 2005-vintage Europe VI fund which delivered a 2x net TVPI.

Fair practice? Private equity firms are increasingly appointing designated lawyers on private debt deals – well before they’ve selected which lenders they’ll work with, writes sister title Private Debt Investor. Once the lender has been chosen, the sponsor assigns the law firm to represent the lender on the transaction. Previously only seen in larger deals, this practice is now creeping into the mid-market. Needless to say, some lenders are concerned their interests are not being put first.

Dig deeper

OPERS’ PE bets. Oregon Public Employees’ Retirement System has committed €225 million to Permira VII. Here’s a breakdown of the $74.5 billion US pension’s alternatives allocations. For more information on OPERS and more than 6,700 other institutions, check out the PEI database.

He said it

“There is no world we can live in where we get to do incredibly well ourselves while not driving impact results that we promised.”

Greg Shell, managing director at Bain Capital’s Double Impact fund, tells delegates at the PEI Responsible Investment Forum that stellar financial results but haphazard impact stories would be “a mortal threat to our franchise”.

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Today’s letter was prepared by Isobel MarkhamAdam LeRod JamesCarmela Mendoza and Alex Lynn.

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