Being “on vacation” is seemingly no barrier for private equity professionals to fielding a query from an investor, checking out a lead on a new deal or responding to a quote request from a journalist on deadline (thankfully).
Over the summer Private Equity International spoke to an esteemed investment professional on a tai chi retreat in California, discussed preferred equity to the background hum of water lapping against a Maldivian beach and Facetimed with a placement agent sunning themselves in the Greek islands. This year, however, it feels as if everyone is going to the same place: Portugal.
When the history books are written, 2019 will go down as the year the world, or at least the world of PE, hit peak Portugal. Every man, woman and their dog seems to have been there. In fact, whole firms have sampled the delights of the Lusitanian jewel (as no-one has ever called it), EQT choosing it as the destination for its 25th anniversary celebration in October.
Why Portugal? Was it the string of golden beaches, the luxurious yet family-friendly all-inclusive resorts, or the array of world-class golf courses and surf sites? Was it the delicious food or the wine, as fine as any produced by its Iberian neighbour? As it turned out, the main reason was much more prosaic – it’s the eurozone destination that gives the best bang for your buck.
This is borne out by research. According to the 2019 Holiday Costs Barometer, a study produced by the UK Post Office, the Algarve is the cheapest of all eurozone destinations. Not only that, but the price of visiting has declined since 2018, by 16.2 percent.
It might come as a surprise that masters of the financial universe should care so much about purchasing power parity. This is a refreshing thought; GPs are exercising in their own lives the same financial discipline they require from portfolio companies. Do as I say and as I do.