He said it
“Needless to say, 2020 has presented unprecedented challenges across the entire investment landscape.”
Jeff Diehl, managing partner and head of investments at Adams Street Partners, reflects on the year as his firm rounds off a successful fundraising process.
Perseverance and responsibility
Here are two takeaways from this year in private equity:
First is that amid untold personal tragedy and hardship around the world, the business of raising private equity capital looked (certainly from the headline data) pretty “normal”. Adams Street Partners is the latest firm to round off a successful fundraising campaign. The firm gathered $823 million for its 2020 global fund programme, it said last night: a little above what it would normally expect (press release here). “We are humbled by the confidence and trust that our clients continue to place in us during these unusual times,” said Jeff Diehl, managing partner and head of investments.
Second is that ESG in private markets was one of the many long-term trends that was accelerated by the global pandemic. To illustrate, EQT has just inked another debt facility with an ESG-linked pricing mechanism: this one is a €1 billion five-year revolving credit facility for “corporate purposes”, supporting the listed firm’s growth initiatives and long-term strategy (press release here). Earlier this year the firm signed subscription credit lines for its flagship private equity and infrastructure funds, both of which have ESG-related cost implications (more details here).
For many people this has been a terrible year. The Side Letter team has – from our kitchen tables, desks and sofas around the world – been grateful for the chance to keep up with you and share your stories. We will return in January; in the meantime we wish you a happy and healthy Christmas and New Year.
Well done to 17Capital‘s Owen James and our very own Philip Borel, who correctly identified yesterday’s firms: 1. Carlyle, 2. Apax Partners, 3. China Everbright, 4. Cinven, and 5. General Atlantic. Who will prevail today? Below are five more names of large private equity firms in picture form. Can you identify them? Once again, there is no prize at stake other than honour, but email me (email@example.com) to let me know how you get on.
Clue: again they are all among the 100 largest firms, according to the PEI 300 ranking.
Who were the busiest LPs of 2020?
The European Investment Fund topped the list again this year with at least 41 commitments, two more than last year. This included backing Livonia Partners Fund II and Carlyle Group Ireland spin-out Melior Equity Partners’ Melior Equity Partners II.
Eight of the 10 busiest LPs were all North America-based, reflecting the high levels of disclosure on fund commitments, compared with other global regions. Four of the top 10 are Californian pensions: Los Angeles Fire & Police Pension System, the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, the California State Teachers’ Retirement System and San Francisco Employees’ Retirement System.
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