LPs: More GPs than ever will struggle to raise a fund over the next TWO years
[tweetmeme source=”mattcg” service=”bit.ly” only_single=”false”]
Two years of winter:/
That’s what awaits those who did/
Not bury their nuts
We all know that times are tough for GPs out fundraising at the moment. But ask anyone on the sell-side and they’ll tell you the same thing:
2009 was horrible, but we expect things to pick up by the end of the year
A quick poll conducted by IE Consulting last month, however, suggests that times will remain tough for those PE houses out scavenging for LP commitments. Of course, the very best funds will come out and raise money. By the way, “very best funds” does not mean “top quartile” (anyone ever marketed a fund that wasn’t top quartile?). “Very best funds” means just that: those private equity and venture capital funds that have consistently delivered performance that outpaces its peers and other funds in other asset classes.
It’s simply no longer enough to be delivering better returns than other European buyout funds or other US venture funds. Limited Partners are taking a hard look at the dollars they are investing in private equity and VC funds and how the returns stack up against their other investment strategies: Commentators should not be surprised to see even committed investors into the asset class “taking stock” for a good while longer than even the most pessimistic might have expected.
So what does this mean for those in the market now, trying to raise a fund?
- Get out early. You could be in the market for 18 months or more
- Be flexible. Respect the fact that the balance of power now rests with your LPs: They have alternatives.
- Show how you are different. A longer fundraising timetable means more “competing” funds on the road at the same time. Why should LPs invest in your fund?
- Don’t forget to make the case for private equity: Is your strategy preferable to investing in the public market? How?
I remember a conversation I had in 2008 with the head of investor relations at one of the preeminent large buyout houses. After exchanging niceties and discussing the industry landscape, talk turned to their current fundraising activity. Apparently, the firm was engaged in “philosophical” discussions as to whether it should even include a market commentary section in its PPM. After all:
“everyone knows what we do and why they should be investing in our funds”
Oh, how things have changed…
You can read the full research summary from our LP poll here: