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Life as a Limited Partner during the financial crisis – The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

May 18, 2010 3 comments

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LPs demand better communication

GPs with poor communication are losing out

Earlier this month I had the honour and pleasure to be invited onto a panel at the 6th Annual Private Equity Forum at my alma mater. The panel sought to address how LPs had been affected by the financial crisis and, not being a Limited Partner myself, I thought it prudent to ask some, beforehand. If you were one of the 60 institutional investors into private equity that responded to my questionnaire, many thanks!

In any case, and as my colleagues predicted, there was no real need to call upon the research findings during the event. But some of the findings were so intriguing that I wanted to share them with you. I hope you find them as interesting as I did.

The link below will take you to a summary of the results.

Limited Partners in a New Era – the Good, the Bad, the Ugly

People prefer performance, and that will never change, but we found that many LPs had already ditched managers that they felt had not been communicating with them sufficiently well and some found that misalignment of interests between LP and GP (shock! horror! such DO exist!) had become more apparent during the crisis.

There’s much, much more in the full report, so I hope you will take the time to dive in. If you have any questions or comments, you know where to find me!

How transparent are private equity fund managers really? What do you think?

April 20, 2010 5 comments

[tweetmeme source=”mattcg” service=”bit.ly” only_single=”false”]Private equity fund managers have been under pressure in recent years to improve both the reporting they undertake to their institutional investors and the transparency with which they operate, in general. Government, regulators, the press, Limited Partners: they all want to know more about the activites of GPs. My colleagues and I at IE Consulting have spent some time looking at the press releases of the most active General Partners in Europe.

We looked at:

  • The access provided to dealmakers and communications staff through their websites
  • The thematic content of all press releases issued since January 2006
  • The quantitative and qualitative content of all press releases pertaining to buyout investments issued in the last 12 months
  • Some of the results were surprising, some disappointing, some encouraging, and some downright astonishing.

    The results will be published in Private Equity Europe and the first installment is out at the end of this week.

    Of course, I’ll be uploading the information here, too!

    In the meantime, I’m interested in your thoughts:

    Should private equity firms be more transparent?
    If so, are they trying hard enough?
    And how successful are they being?

    Perhaps you work at a GP in a marketing or communications or PR role or you are a journalist, regulator or LP. Either way, I am sure you have some interesting thoughts on this. Let me know in the comments!

Insert your own Apax Partners fundraising gag here…

June 11, 2009 Leave a comment

Martin Halusa, chief of Apax, chef de brigade

Martin Halusa, chief of Apax, chef de brigade

It’s not always good news when your private equity backers descend on your offices at short notice…and it doesn’t always bode well when the “party” includes the worldwide CEO. Of course, nothing says “this is the good kind of party” like a silly hat, and the visit was received with extremely good humour, even if Apax was demanding money…

The Apax team had brought with them a crate of sandwiches, which they were looking to flog to the excited and hungry denizens of IE Consulting towers and our cohorts at Unquote” for the benefit of Great Ormond Street Hospital and the poorly lads and lasses it serves.

Well done Apax for putting in some personal effort to raise money for such a good cause. Not so well done on the quality of the sandwiches…I’m looking forward to Bridgepoint trying the same thing…

Fairly ropey tuna sandwich made by APAX partners

Fairly ropey tuna sandwich made by APAX partners

European Fundraising Review

March 30, 2009 Leave a comment

In case you weren’t already aware, my good friends over at Unquote are about to launch the European Fundraising Review, to which my team has been contributing.
Quite apart from the excellent data and analysis you’ll find therein, the foreword by John Campbell at advisory group Campbell Lutyens is, as always, a joy to read.
No dogs or ships this time, but a well-considered piece, to be sure. More details soon!