Day 1 | Day 2

  • Tuesday, 8th September 2020

  • 08:00

    Registration and refreshments

  • 09:00

    Keynote address

  • 09:30

    Going global: Navigating a new decade

    How much longer can the bull run last? Few investors are willing to call the market top, but many are still preparing themselves for an impending adjustment. All manner of forces could disrupt the global economy, from US-China tensions to fallout from Brexit to a genuine black swan event. Our panel examines the world in 2020 and beyond: their expectations for fundraising, the sectors and geographies they favour, and what private markets managers can do to prevail in a downturn.

    • What are the biggest late-stage cycle concerns?
    • Is the flood of capital into alternatives a cyclical or structural trend?
    • How can GPs generate superior returns through differentiation?
    • What were the key lessons learned from previous downturns?
  • 10:15

    Japan update: State of the market

    Japan is known is known within Asian private equity for its relative stability and countercyclical qualities. For the most part, returns in recent years have been strong. Investors are trying to identify what will characterize the industry’s next phase. With the dividing lines between global GPs and the upper and lower tiers of the local middle market becoming blurred as funds increase in size and strategies shift, the future is very much up for grabs. Our panellists share their market outlook.

    • How large can Japan-focused funds become?
    • Is there enough local private equity talent?
    • What is the impact of rising valuations on investment strategy?
    • Which sectors offer the most attractive opportunities?
  • 11:00

    Networking coffee break

  • 11:30


  • 12:00

    The middle market: Changing dynamics?

    Time is on the side of Japan’s middle market. Ageing company owners confronted by succession problems are a longstanding source of deal flow. As these founder-entrepreneurs become more familiar with the asset class – and see their peers profit from partnerships with external investors – they are amenable to private equity advances. At the same time, intermediaries have seized on this theme, resulting in more professional and widely marketed processes and increased competition. An expert panel of local investors give their prognoses.

    • Are valuations in the middle market getting out of control?
    • Who are the sellers – ageing founders or serial entrepreneurs?
    • Does intermediation necessarily result in more competitive processes?
    • What can managers do to differentiate their value proposition?
  • 12:45

    Networking lunch

  • 13:45

    The big end of town: The art of buyouts

    Expectations of increased large-cap deal flow have spurred global GPs to focus more intently on Japan. It remains to be seen how quickly the market can deliver – and how much investors will have to pay to play. An assortment of factors, from regulatory reform to competitive pressure to the threat of activist investors, could encourage local conglomerates to divest non-core assets. But change is glacial and sale processes tend to be widely marketed auctions. Our panellists explain how they find deals.

    • What does the pipeline look like for 2020?
    • How do GPs establish a competitive edge before an auction?
    • Why are some corporates more open to divestment than others?
    • Which value creation levers are most useful in Japan?
  • 14:30

    LP portfolio construction: Entering alternatives

    When head-hunters are looking for Japanese-speaking investor relations executives, you know that Tokyo has become a fundraising hotspot. Local LPs are building up exposure to alternatives, relying on the wisdom of third-party advisors and gatekeepers or accumulating in-house investment talent. It is not an easy task, especially for those with limited resources. Our panellists offer insights into best practices across strategy development, recruitment, portfolio construction, manager due diligence and selection, and overseeing fund interests at home and abroad. 

    • What should LPs consider when appointing advisors?
    • How do you set up reporting and analytics to allow good program visibility?
    • When does a separate account make more sense than a co-mingled fund?
    • What are the most common mistakes made by newcomers to alternatives?
  • 15:15

    Networking coffee break

  • 15:45

    One portfolio: Mitigating the j-curve

    The protracted wait for returns remains a stumbling block for Japanese institutional investors looking to develop an asset allocation model that includes private equity. Portfolio diversification is essential to managing risk across different stages of the cycle and under varying economic conditions. Liquidity, yield and rebalancing are common imperatives that prompt investors to consider alternatives options beyond PE and VC. This panel brings together professionals representing different strategies to debate the ways to address the j-curve. They will focus on: 

    • Secondaries
    • Real estate
    • Infrastructure
    • Credit and distress
  • 16:30

    The crystal ball: Private equity in 2030

    Another decade, another step by private equity into the investment mainstream. More money is entering the asset class, which has led to a proliferation of products and strategies. It has also placed the industry under closer scrutiny – by the public as well as by regulators – than ever before. Moving into the 2020s, technology has emerged as a key challenge. It pervades every investment thesis, value creation plan and back office system. Our experts discuss what will define the new decade.

    • What are the private equity megatrends to watch?
    • How is the GP-LP relationship going to evolve?
    • What would be a worst-case political scenario for PE?
    • Which geographies are most likely to surprise?
  • 17:15

    Cocktail reception