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Real Deals Mid Market Conference, January 2020

Updated: Feb 7, 2020

January's Real Deals Mid-Market Conference Highlights a Changing PE Landscape :

Attending on behalf of an LP Client, this year's RDMM Conference provided a great summary of the changing market dynamics for Mid-Market GPs.

Opening with a concise quantitative view of the market's recent developments and research surrounding the differences between EU and US GP team approaches, the scene was set for a good qualitative dialogue.

Although the main agenda topics focussed on ESG investment and Digitalisation, there was consistent reference in the content to the broader market changes surrounding those topics and the sector as a whole.

Ultimately driven by an LP shift towards the PE Bid Buyout market, the sector has quadrupled in volume since 2010 and the number of GPs has quintupled over the same period. With Large Cap funds reaching down and bulked up VC funds reaching up the Mid-Market is more competitive than ever before.

The impact of this on buy side valuations and auction prices (50% of MM deals go to auction) is squeezing return trajectories and forcing new thinking about portfolio business value creation. Legacy financial engineering and even top line sales and operational efficiency efforts are now GP qualifiers and new business value creation approaches are key to maintaining the expected returns.

The presentations and table discussions focussed around these new GP differentiators, at a level of openness that is also on the increase it seems.

Specific highlights from the stage were :

  • Maggie Loo's (Bridge Fund Mgt. Partner) summary of their direct approach to identifying proactive ESG investments to drive towards the UN's SDGs.

  • Martin Calderbank's (MP Agilitas PE) insights into the increasing relevance of a laser focussed GP strategy for sustainable portfolio business value creation.

  • Markus Brans' (Triton Partners Digital Head) deep dive into their Portfolio support for digitalisation efforts across multiple business verticals (pictured).

  • Imogen Richards' (Partner Pantheon) views on the LP interest in the nature of policies and practices within GPs and their alignment to mutual success.

  • Samuel Robberts' (Director DrxDATA) comments about the changes in approach required to prevail in todays GP market through change "inside" the portfolio

Overall an informative time was had by all.

It was great to see the changes in market dynamics being discussed so candidly, and its impact on the portfolio value creation approach discussed so objectively.

To read the full RDMM Conference Report click on : (Subscription Required)

April's Real Deals Value Creation Conference (28th in Munich) should be a good one at this rate:

Signing off.


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