Private equity firms are awash in cash, with nearly US$1trn of available capital, but the industry is facing internal competition as limited partner (LP) investors seek to play a more active role in buyouts, according to David Rubenstein, co-founder and co-CEO of the Carlyle Group.
The structure and composition of private equity funds will change significantly as LPs that would previously have invested in the funds increasingly branch out into arranging buyouts themselves, Rubenstein said.
Rubenstein was giving his views on the future development of private equity firms, based on his 30-plus year career in the industry, at the SuperInvestor Conference in Amsterdam this week.
“I expect we’ll see longer duration funds become more prevalent, with consequently lower fees for LPs and carried interest for general partners [private equity firms].” Rubenstein said.
Many LPs are looking for longer-term investments with lower return targets, which will ripple through the conventional buyout community, Rubenstein said, adding that more permanent capital will also be sought to match longer investment duration needs.HT: Pension Pulse who also highlights Financial News' "David Rubenstein’s five predictions for the future of private equity"
Several LPs that would have previously invested in private equity funds, including Canadian pension funds PSP Investments and the Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board, have built their own operations to buy assets in recent years and some European firms are also looking at co-investment buyouts.
Rubenstein predicted that sovereign wealth funds will replace US public pension funds as the largest source of capital for buyout firms, and said that retail investors will also play a more significant role going forward.
“Individual retail investors will be the biggest new entry as regulations relax on investing in private equity,” he added.
He also highlighted private debt as a significant growth area....MORE
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And as a final note, the introduction to a December 2016 piece:
For some reason I still see Warren Buffet's 2008 Shareholders Letter when someone mentions the term "Private Equity":
...Some years back our competitors were known as “leveraged-buyout operators.” But LBO became a bad name. So in Orwellian fashion, the buyout firms decided to change their moniker. What they did not change, though, were the essential ingredients of their previous operations, including their cherished fee structures and love of leverage.
Their new label became “private equity,” a name that turns the facts upside-down: A purchase of a business by these firms almost invariably results in dramatic reductions in the equity portion of the acquiree’s capital structure compared to that previously existing. A number of these acquirees, purchased only two to three years ago, are now in mortal danger because of the debt piled on them by their private-equity buyers. Much of the bank debt is selling below 70¢ on the dollar, and the public debt has taken a far greater beating. The private- equity firms, it should be noted, are not rushing in to inject the equity their wards now desperately need. Instead, they’re keeping their remaining funds very private...