Private equity investors were treated to a preview of the "new normal" for the asset class at The Private Equity Exclusive conference sponsored by The Pension Bridge.
And while the heyday of a few years back are not expected to return anytime soon, there are investment opportunities in the current environment.
Gathering at the swank Peninsula Hotel July 26-27 in Chicago, a group of 180 investors, consultants, third-party marketers and alternative investment money managers commiserated about the onslaught of bad performance and economic news and discussed possible opportunities. Those included the private equity secondary market, natural resources funds, and emerging managers and markets.
Investors noted that these days they prize liquidity and a quicker return of cash.
“I've liked mezzanine for a couple of years now. There's a push by LPs (limited partners) to have funds that generate returns sooner than later,” said Greg Kulka, director-private equity and ETI programs, New Mexico State Investment Council, Santa Fe. He was on a panel discussing the “Current State of the Private Equity Market,” with Tara Blackburn, managing director at Hamilton Lane; Gregory V. Stento, managing director, HarbourVest Partners LLC; William Monagle Jr., partner, senior strategist–private markets, NEPC LLC; and Michael Moy, managing director, Pension Consulting Alliance. The moderator was David Hutchings, head of private equity at Albourne Partners.
“In some cases you have monthly interest paid back to you so liquidity is a driver going forward,” Mr. Kulka said of mezzanine investing.