Story of the year: PEI’s most-downloaded podcasts

The Spotlight Podcast series amassed more than 15,000 downloads this year – here’s a rundown of the most popular episodes.

From co-investing to diversity, Californian pensions to preferred equity, Private Equity International’s Spotlight Podcast was a broad church in 2019.

The series amassed more than 15,000 downloads this year. In case you weren’t able to catch each episode, here’s a rundown of the year’s auditory highlights:

Is this the most dangerous man in private equity?

The year’s most-downloaded episode was a February interview with Ludovic Phalippou of Oxford University, professor of financial economics at Oxford University’s Saïd Business School and author of Private Equity Laid Bare.

In an 18-minute episode, Phalippou discusses what he sees as the industry’s greatest pitfalls and why greater transparency in fee reporting and performance will help LPs and GPs alike.

Key quote: “You cannot have a sustainable industry if you hide things, if the public opinion is against you.”

Everything you wanted to know about preferred equity

A close second came PEI’s guide to one of private equity’s most nascent – and complex – strategies, preferred equity. Proponents believe it has tremendous potential for growth, while its doubters say it will never exceed 4-5 percent of secondaries market volume.

News editor Adam Le sat down with Augustin Duhamel, founder and managing partner at preferred equity pioneer 17Capital, to discuss the strategy’s ins and outs.

Key quote: “When we see a turn of the cycle, we will probably revert to more situations where preferred equity will be a good solution for people looking for liquidity.”

Why co-investments are in the best interest of GPs and LPs

Co-investments are all the rage – a trend that has not escaped the attention of private debt managers.

In September, sister publication Private Debt Investor sat down with industry practitioners from The Carlyle Group, Cambridge Associates and Kennedy Lewis Investment Management to discuss the strategy’s upshots. Yes, investors can often avoid fees and GPs can write larger cheques, but there’s more to it than meets the eye.

Key quote: “The value we get out of driving a more concentrated, longer term relationship with an LP, and our ability to negotiate terms and be larger and drive a better investment outcome through structure or terms, well outweighs the opportunity for us to increase fees.”

CalSTRS on becoming ‘the partner of choice’

It’s safe to say that the California State Teachers’ Retirement System knows a little something about private equity relationships. In September, the pension giant’s deputy chief investment officer Scott Chan and head of real estate Mike DiRe spoke to sister publication PERE about its investment strategy: a collaborative model that prioritises joint ventures, separate accounts and direct acquisitions.

Key quote: “This more direct style of investing not just saves fees but puts us in a position to be more nimble in the marketplace.”

Fiduciary duty has ‘been going in the wrong direction’

The Institutional Limited Partners Association had a busy year. Besides releasing its Principles 3.0 in June, the industry body also published a ‘Model LPA’ for investors to use at the negotiating table. Sister publication Private Funds CFO caught up with senior policy counsel Chris Hayes in October to discuss the template, including how it seeks to restore fiduciary duty to the LP-GP relationship.

Key quote: “Our members have been concerned about the increased prevalence of contracting away fiduciary duty in the limited partnership agreement.”