An attractive gateway

Secondaries Investor interview on private markets’ democratization

Private equity 01 Feb 2023 8 min read
Tanja von Ehrlich Jochen Mende
Tanja von Ehrlich, Head of Wholesale REPM
Jochen Mende, Head of Secondaries

The secondaries market is a logical entry point for private wealth clients looking to access private markets.

There are three primary drivers behind the democra­tization of private markets: regulatory change, supply-side dynamics and, of course, demand.

In terms of regulation, the overhaul of the European Long-Term Invest­ment Fund (ELTIF) regime represents a really interesting development: it enables new managers who have not previously been able to offer access to private wealth customers to join the game, while also increasing optionality for those players already serving pri­vate wealth clients. We expect the new ELTIF regime to be friendly to both investment managers and clients. It is something we see as highly beneficial.

In terms of supply, firms like UBS are creating dedicated units to look after distributors who serve private wealth clients, which means our un­derstanding of what they actually need in order to invest in private markets is increasing significantly. It isn’t a ques­tion of simply opening up existing solu­tions, which were built for institutional investors, to the private wealth market.

It is important to adapt strategies for private investors, providing features such as lower minimum investment requirements and fully paid-in, semi-liquid, open-ended struc­tures, as opposed to closed-end funds that operate a capital commitment and call / distribution model.

We are starting to see a lot more strategies coming to market that are designed specifically to mitigate some of the characteristics of private markets investing that have historically deterred this investor group.

The third driver behind the democ­ratization of private markets involves increased demand from private wealth clients themselves. Allocations to pri­vate assets are being increased as a result of advice from CIOs and family offices – in fact, there is a real fear-of-missing-out phenomenon because private markets are proving so pop­ular and is gaining wide coverage in the mainstream media.

With liquidity being a key consideration for private wealth clients, we think that private equity secondaries need to be an integral part of any asset allocation model for a private wealth focused private equity product.

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