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Thursday, 9 September 2021
Asia spotlight: Tapping into the growth story
Geographical diversification has arguably never been more important for LPs, in terms accessing growth and achieving adequate downside protection. Already well embedded in their domestic markets, Asian LPs are increasingly looking to deploy more capital elsewhere in the region, conscious of the favourable economic expansion and demographic trends. How to access these opportunities remains a subject of considerable debate. It is not necessarily part of a global or pan-Asian play, with a swathe of country managers establishing strong track records.
- How has private equity performed in Asia compared to other markets?
- To what extent are LPs comfortable with growth-stage technology?
- What are the major risk factors that come with country manager exposure?
- How should Asian GPs pitch themselves to Japanese investors?
Venture capital: Putting (and keeping) Japan on the map
Several themes have come to encapsulate Japan VC 2.0: thinking globally from day one; the emergence of talent that prefers working for start-ups than corporates; a focus on cutting-edge technologies that leverage Japan’s industrial strengths; and enhanced in-house capabilities across HR, marketing, and business development. Investors can also point to a growing list of domestic unicorns and the steady maturation of companies through private funding rounds to IPO. Can a market that has traditionally attracted local LP money go international?
- What can be done to bring more talent into the start-up ecosystem?
- How do VC investors help businesses achieve scale quickly?
- Is there enough growth-stage capital to support companies through IPO?
- What would make LPs more comfortable with Japanese venture capital?
Spotlight on ESG: A wave of change
From climate change to gender and ethnic diversity, there are various reasons why ESG is a rising priority for investors. The impact is most visible in private equity through stricter compliance and reporting standards. LPs are no longer satisfied with a policy statement; they want to see evidence of processes in action as well as a combination of narrative and granular data that capture performance. Leadership buy-in and proper integration of investment and ESG resources are key considerations.
- What must be done to ensure ESG is more than a box-checking exercise?
- Where do LPs begin in their due diligence in this area?
- Is the industry any closer to standardization in ESG impact measurement?
- What progress is private equity making on diversity and inclusion?
Private debt and credit: Going mainstream
Capital under management in the private credit space swept past $800 billion in 2020, offering further confirmation of the popularity of the plethora of strategies that make up this asset class. The attractions for LPs are well-known – stable, uncorrelated returns and predictable cash flows and risk profiles. The COVID-19 impact has been mixed. It underlined the need for alternative credit providers as traditional banks continued to pull back from lending, but government support policies have delayed much-anticipated distress opportunities.
- Is the rise of private debt globally inexorable?
- Which credit strategies have performed best over the past 12 months?
- Has there been any change in the key factors driving demand for private debt?
- Where have Asian LPs put most of their money in private credit?
LP investor spotlight: Where, when and how to invest in 2021 and beyond
The world offers a myriad of strategies, fund types, specialties, and terms. Do you commit big to a handful of mega funds with multiple strategies, or seek out a niche country only managers with deep-rooted connections and expertise in a specific market or sector? LP interest in Japan has risen sharply in recent years so how and when are commitments being made and how does the Japan strategy compliment a diversified portfolio. A group of leading LPs will look at the current landscape with a focus on Japan and Asia, to see how they plan to drive their portfolio in the future across geographies and alternative investments.
- Which are the most interesting sectors, regions, and strategies?
- How are LPs viewing the Japan opportunity currently - from buyout to venture?
- How are LPs thinking about Asian exposure?
- Is there still ample demand – and supply – in terms of co-investment?
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