Mixed sentiments in Berlin at the annual SuperReturn PE conference

I am currently at the annual Super Return international private equity conference along with over 1,800 of the world’s leading GP's and LP's. The conference, held over 3 days is a private equity "fest" in terms of appraising the current state of the global private equity market, the current trends and what might be in store for the industry in these uncertain times.

The conference had confirmed what we all know; these are definitely unprecedented times; a combination of weak world economies, geo-political uncertainties and anti-establishment feeling. Add in to the mix tightening credit markets and the IPO window appearing to have closed (no IPO's of US companies at all in January), which directly impact on the PE market, and you would imagine a conference of long faced LP and GP senior executives.

But this isn't the case, there is an acknowledgement that multiples will weaken compared to the last couple of years, but the PE execs who are here are looking back at their experiences in the Global Financial Crisis and saying we can still, as an industry, survive and provide good investment returns relative to other asset classes.

They acknowledge that deal activity is likely to be lower, but the old adage that "out of adversity comes opportunity" seems to be the view point of these seasoned industry professionals!

Filed under: Investment, IPO, PE, SuperReturn, US, Global