2021 Agenda

  • 17:45

    Welcome cocktail

  • 19:00

    VIP GP-LP Dinner

    (By invitation only)

  • 08:30

    Limited partners’ session (invitation only)

    A behind-closed-doors session in which LPs can share their experiences of private markets investment – across multiple geographies, using third-party managers or going direct, and leveraging advisory relationships. Attendance is limited to investors with active alternatives programs as well as to those currently not allocating but who wish to find out more about the industry. Featuring presentations, an interactive panel, and a practical group discussion, the session will cover topics including: 

    • Building a diversified portfolio in the current environment
    • What investors are doing to evaluate and manage risk
    • What has and hasn’t worked well in terms of GP-LP communications
    • Addressing concerns about critical incident reporting
    • Co-investment opportunities offered versus those acted on
    • Meeting the future needs of LPs in terms of team size and skills
    • How ESG is playing a more important role in allocation decisions
    • The implications of proposed benchmarking for superannuation funds
  • 10:00


  • 10:30
  • 11:00
    Global outlook: Navigating the new normal

    Prior to COVID-19, private equity was facing multiple challenges, ranging from geopolitical issues to elevated valuations. In 2020, the market was turned on its head, prompting managers to address problems with existing portfolios and then consider how new investment opportunities were changing. Much of this had to happen remotely. The question for 2021 is how quickly – and to what extent – there will be a return to normality. Seasoned investors discuss the market outlook.

    • What are the key macro issues for private markets in 2021?
    • How has the pandemic altered investment theses and practices?
    • Which geographies present the most attractive opportunities?
    • What must GPs do to stay competitive in the long term?
  • 12:00
    Australia: Reconsidering the rebound

    A rebound in deal-making is expected, following a muted 2020, but investors will pick their targets with care. The prospects for certain industries remain uncertain and it’s unclear what happens when government stimulus measures are phased out. Underwriting remains a delicate process in a post-COVID-19 world. On the other hand, there has been a resurgence in IPO activity, even as trade sales are lagging, which bodes well for distributions. Local GPs share their views.

    • What are the prevailing trends in deal structuring and financing?
    • Have pandemic-related portfolio challenges been properly addressed?
    • Is technology the new middle-market sweet spot?
    • What do Australia-China tensions mean for private equity?
  • 12:45


  • 13:45
    Hard talk: Private equity fundraising in 2021

    Due diligence has gone virtual, with LPs relying on deeper dives into track records, more management interviews, and input from local consultants to get comfortable making fund commitments. Even then, most investors are limiting themselves to re-ups and GPs they’ve been tracking for several years and have met in person. Never has the value of pre-fundraise engagement been so apparent. Industry experts discuss the implications of a protracted period of travel restrictions.

    • Are LPs adapting their due diligence requirements?
    • How has the role of advisors changed during the pandemic?
    • Is deal-by-deal an effective stopgap measure for first-time managers?
    • What long-term changes will there be in investor relations?
  • 14:30
  • 15:15

    Networking break

  • 15:45
    Operational best practice: The post-COVID-19 world

    Operational capabilities have been put to the test over the past 12 months by varying degrees of portfolio-level disruption. Most companies have negotiated the first two steps of the process: achieving stability in the face of the pandemic and positioning themselves to accelerate in its aftermath. Now there are longer term strategic issues to consider and private equity owners must offer guidance. A group of seasoned GPs discuss the operational challenges to come.

    • What do you want to see from management teams in times of difficulty?
    • What are the major challenges in executing a business model pivot?
    • How is the cross-border expansion opportunity set evolving?
    • Five years from now, will Australian GPs have in-house operations teams?
  • 16:30
    Family offices: Willing partners in private equity?

    Long underweight on private equity, are family offices getting more of a taste for the asset class? It is a tantalizing prospect for GPs, but difficult to realize. Family offices can be useful partners – able to respond decisively to opportunities even when these run contrary to traditional investor mindsets. At the same time, they are wary of blind pool funds and often prefer direct exposure that complements their core businesses. Industry experts discuss best practices.

    • What do family offices want from partnerships with GPs?
    • How should managers identify and cultivate these investors?
    • What sectors and strategies are most appealing?
    • How are family offices evolving in terms of structure and professionalism?
  • 17:15

    Close of conference Day 1

  • 18:00

    Gala cocktail reception

  • 19:30

    Gala dinner

  • 09:00
  • 09:30
    Asia spotlight: Assessing regional opportunities

    Geographical diversification has arguably never been more important for LPs, in terms of protecting the downside and accessing growth opportunities. Asia is expected to be at the heart of the growth story, accounting for 50% of global GDP and 60% of consumption by 2040. Allocations to the region from Australian and New Zealand LPs have risen in recent years, but there are many ways to tap into these trends. GPs from across Asia discuss how.

    • How has private equity performed in Asia compared to other markets?
    • To what extent are sector specialist managers emerging in Asia?
    • How much of a concern are Australia-China tensions?
    • What are the major risk factors that come with Asian exposure?
  • 10:15
    Venture capital: Australia on a roll

    Led by a small group of managers raising ever larger funds, Australia’s venture capital space continues to thrive. A burgeoning ecosystem is building up around the first generation of success stories, creating the entrepreneurial talent behind another phalanx of start-ups. However, as the industry expands so do concerns around an oversupply of capital – especially at the growth stages – rising valuations, and when existing unicorns will be monetized. A panel of VCs consider the growth trajectory.

    • What kind of structural shifts are driving deal flow?
    • To what extent are GPs under pressure to realize paper returns?
    • How is the late-stage investment space evolving?
    • What makes an Australian healthcare start-up globally competitive?
  • 11:00

    Networking break

  • 11:30
    Private debt: At an inflection point?

    With other – often cheaper – pools of capital running dry in the first half of 2020, demand for private debt financing surged. In certain geographies and industries, there remains a pressing need for liquidity, even though the distress opportunity has yet to fully emerge. The key long-term trend in developed markets remains the withdrawal of banks from traditional lending, but private debt providers are still treading carefully. Experienced investors give their take on the market.

    • How does the opportunity set change based on the point in the cycle?
    • Is scale the major competitive advantage for private debt providers?
    • What are the current trends in leveraged financing?
    • How should LPs access the debt market?
  • 12:15
    ESG Roadmap: From portfolio management to climate change

    As the world continues to adapt to the changes broughtabout by the pandemic, it is clear that the continued progress of ESG is more crucial than ever before. The shifting regulatory environment is pushing managers to think about ESG factors more seriously and questions asked by LPs are rapidly evolving, while the demand for detailed ESG reporting and disclosure has never been greater. As the signs of global warming become increasingly clear, there is also growing awareness amongst the private equity community that climate change is a key risk to long-term investment performance and ongoing investor appetite for their fund. In this session a panel of GPs and LPs will share their roadmap for optimising ESG when investing in private equity and the key drivers for the future.

    • What ESG initiatives have GPs implemented at the firm and portfolio level?
    • What are LPs expecting from GPs from an ESG standpoint?
    • How has the conversation between GP and LPs on climate change issues evolved, and what questions should GPs expect in the future?
    • As we come out of the pandemic, what does the private equity industry need to do to ensure that ESG remains a top priority?
  • 13:00
    LP update: Portfolio strategy for 2021

    Contemporary and relevant information was a prized commodity among LPs as they tried to make sense of their private markets exposure even as portfolio managers were trying to do the same. Immediate concerns about liquidity issues duly faded, but the landscape is much changed: communication – from formal AGMs through informal catchups has gone virtual. This has implications for how LPs evaluate existing relationships, forge new ones, and participate in co-investments. Investors discuss the new normal.

    • Has COVID-19 prompted changes in strategy at the LP level?
    • Is there still ample demand – and supply – in terms of co-investment?
    • How are LPs thinking about Asian exposure?
    • What does superannuation fund benchmarking mean for PE?
  • 13:45

    Networking lunch and close of conference