Day 1 | Day 2
20th June 2018
Registration and refreshments
Opening keynote address
A global picture: The state of private markets
LPs have responded to the low interest rate environment and stock market volatility by taking on more risk in their pursuit of returns. As a result, capital has flooded into the private market asset class, enabling firms to raise ever larger funds. Concerns abound about levels of dry powder, escalating credit, and equity valuations are being felt across all markets – especially in Japan, where a number of mega funds have dedicated large portions of their regional capital to the domestic buyout market. In this session, a panel of leading investors will share their insights into current market challenges, as well as the near-term prospects for private equity and other private market asset classes.
- How is geo-politics affecting the investment landscape?
- Where does Asia fit into the global picture?
- What issues keep managers awake at night?
- Will high levels of dry powder trigger high valuations and an unfavourable cycle?
- What is Japan’s position on the global stage and has this changed in recent years?
Networking coffee break
Japan: A safe haven for global investors
Japanese private equity is enjoying its moment in the sun. From domestic middle-market GPs to international buyout players, investors are seeing increased deal flow as a result of demographics-driven succession-planning situations, divestment activity by conglomerates that are narrowing their scope, and local companies seeking partners as they try to go global. This bullish outlook has driven an increase in foreign LPs’ appetites for exposure to Japanese managers, against a backdrop of impressive exit numbers. As the market moves from a period of fundraising to investment, where will GPs be finding deals and will this vintage be able to deliver on its promise?
- Will deal volume match the current level of dry powder, or will we see more auctions and high valuations?
- How do GPs win the trust of owners and management teams?
- What type of multiples are expected, and how do GPs stay disciplined?
- What level of competition is there in different market segments?
- How do domestic firms build up their value creation capabilities and compete on a global stage?
Future-proofing your portfolio
Technology shifts are redefining industry boundaries and business models, affecting GP investment theses and value creation strategies. Alongside traditional dealmaking and business improvement skills, private equity firms now need to consider capabilities to anticipate and manage potential disruptive technology threats and opportunities over the entire hold period. In this session a diverse group of industry experts will share their views on how private equity firms should respond to today’s environment of rapidly changing technology, including:
- How can PE evaluate potential technology risks and opportunities in forming the initial investment thesis?
- What are some specific examples of how technology has affected value creation in private equity portfolios, and what lessons can we learn?
- How can PE evaluate and enhance the innovation capability in its portfolio?
- What are the necessary talent strategies at the fund and portfolio level?
- How can private equity use technology within its own business to improve dealmaking and governance?
Looking for the large-cap deal flow: The buyout market
It is fair to say that there has been a rise in the number of large-cap deals in Japan in recent years. It is also fair to say that the volume is still far below the expectations or potential of the market. Competition is heating-up, as a greater number of global and regional GPs set their sights on the Japanese market as a key destination for them to deploy dry powder. The corporate governance code and return of activist investors to Japan's stock market will help with deal flow, but how you source deals and avoid paying a high price will be the challenge.
In this session, a panel of leading GPs share their views and predictions on the buyout opportunities.
- What does the pipeline for deals look like in 2018 and beyond?
- How competitive is the market and how do you differentiate yourself from the competition?
- What sectors are most attractive and open to private equity?
- Is activism on the rise in Japan, and how can private equity capitalise?
Finding value in the middle market
Japanese domestic GPs that operate in the mid-market are gearing up for a period of sourcing and executing deals and we have witnessed many funds making a string of acquisitions in quick succession. Despite strong competition, the signs point to an active market as SME founders looking for a growth partner or with succession issues continue to look to PE as a buyer. In this session, a panel of brand name middle market investors will discuss the next wave of investments and outlook for this compelling component of the Japanese private equity industry.
- Where will GPs find the businesses that can deliver growth in Japan?
- Can the latest vintage match the previous for returns?
- How do you source propriety succession deals?
- What has driven founders’ change of attitude to now look at PE?
Networking coffee break
The LP’s view on portfolio management: Establishing best practice
Effective portfolio management is an essential part of any alternatives programme – particularly when building exposure to a number of markets across the globe. The starting point is considered manager selection, underpinned by thorough due diligence. However, this remains a challenge for domestic LPs with limited resources and little to no on-the-ground presence. Should they be staffing up, or is a strong stable of third-party advisors sufficient? Our speakers share their tips on how to commence and manage a balanced alternatives portfolio.
- What is the right balance of managers in a global portfolio?
- What are the pros and cons of co-mingled funds vs. managed separate accounts?
- Should LPs be more flexible in their allocation mix?
- How important is currency risk to portfolio management?
- What strategies are used for manager selection and monitoring?
- How responsive are GPs on fee negotiations and information disclosure?
Women in private equity
In the alternative assets industry, women are underrepresented – much more than in many other industries. Even though there are a number of initiatives globally, penetration into the asset class remains low. In Japan, there are a number of women in senior roles representing the LPs, but this is yet to transfer into the funds in a meaningful way. Our diverse panel will showcase the different roles they play within their organisations and the opportunity set available.
- What is the current landscape for women in the industry?
- Why do women continue to be under-represented at senior levels in the industry?
- When and how should the industry be encouraging more women to look at private equity as a career path?
- When putting together a diversified portfolio, do firms actively look to have portfolio companies with women founders?