An insider’s view to the Insights conference 2023 (19 October, Luxembourg)
By Luís Galveias, COO of LPEA
The latest Preqin figures do not lie: more than 50% of Private Equity funds launched in 2022 in Europe were domiciled in Luxembourg. When compared to a decade ago, less than two out of ten would have chosen the country. Looking at Private Debt, the prominence is even more remarkable with 90% of new funds setting up operations in the Grand Duchy.
The country is recognised today as the place to be when it comes to Private Capital fundraising across Europe. The famous Luxembourg “toolbox” that was developed over time, was already in place when investors globally gained further appetite for Private Capital and allocated funds at an average growth rate of 15% per year (period 2015-2019; Preqin). The forecast for the coming years is more conservative (12%) but points to a continued growth.
Will Luxembourg remain THE jurisdiction of choice? Will the sector continue to grow as forecasted? How are macro trends affecting Private Equity allocations? These and other questions are being discussed by the industry and that is why we bring them on stage for our annual Insights conference. In fact, when designing the seventh edition of LPEA’s flagship conference, we looked for one main trend and concluded that the industry is going in multiple directions and that we needed to dedicate time to each of those.
Here is a preview of what you can expect from the Insights which will be held on the 19th of October:
Buyout: macro clouds ahead
From a macro angle there is a general perception of slow down, notably in fundraising, partially explained by the need of institutional investors to wait and see or re-balance some of their existing portfolios. Interest rates also play an important role with a direct impact on the leverage and are proposing higher returns (via different financials products) which are now compared with those from our sector. Will better remunerated deposits drive investors away to other types of products? Other aspects will also be on the table such as the state of valuations, the regulatory environment and ESG – of course. A discussion animated by LPEA’s President Claus Mansfeldt (SwanCap) with Hind el Gaidi (ICG), Britta Harper (Blackstone) and Joshua Stone (EQT).
From Traditional to Private Assets
The investors’ landscape is changing and so are asset managers. With the revamp of the ELTIF and the use of Part II funds for Private Equity, a potentially new era is about to start. Although we are really not in a retail mode, the democratisation of private markets and assets comes with many challenges and is drawing the appetite of specialised managers and also traditional (liquid strategies) ones which see in alternatives the next chapter for growth. From the experienced view of Thomas du Pasquier (Unigestion) to the shifting reality of Ingrid Edmund (Columbia Threadneedle) and Matthieu Broquère (Cedrus & Partners), we will explore how the transition happened and the reasons behind.
On the creation of new products designed for broader audiences (democratisation), Mathieu Perfetti (Threestones Capital Partners) will animate a panel with the views of Fabrice Jeusette (Apollo), Vanessa Grueneklee (Schroders), Markus Pimpl (Partners Group) and Giacomo Barchetta (Neuberger Berman).
The Path towards Net Zero
ESG is not only a regulatory matter but for many a strong conviction which we can only support. Matteo Squilloni (European Investment Fund) will moderate a discussion with pioneers and impact makers. The front-runners in the CO2 neutral economy race will be Jack Azoulay (Argos Wityu), Pierre Abadie (Tikehau Capital) and Oliver Heiland (Finance in Motion) who will share their own strategy and how each and every manager can take concrete first steps towards the EU 2050 goals.
2023 – The Year of Private Debt?
As mentioned in the first paragraphs, Luxembourg is the go-to-place when it comes to Private Debt. It is therefore important to understand where we stand globally in the Debt space and how Europe is picking up to a more mature US market. That and other sector specific subjects such as interest rates or ESG will be on the agenda of Michael Maldener (Nordea) who will lead the exchange with Private Debt players Cécile Mayer-Levi (Tikehau Capital), Matthew Maguire (Park Square), Billyana Kuncheva (MV Credit) and Lukas Eckhardt (Golding Capital Partners).
The Venture Capital (VC) Angle
You might have noticed that the Venture Capital segment of the conference will be in partnership with other local players including LuxInnovation, LBAN (Luxembourg Business Angels Network) and the Luxembourg Startups Association (Startups.lu), all under the branding of the (first) “Luxembourg Venture Days”. This means we’re bringing VC to connect further with the national ecosystem. After several years of seeing successful investments into Luxembourg startups, we will focus on exits (divestments) to understand if the time has come for investors to ‘recycle’ their money in new ventures. Hear from Christophe Bianco (Excellium) – an “exited” entrepreneur himself, together with Hans Jurgen Schmitz (Mangrove), Marc Penkala (ältitude) and Riku Asikainen (Evli Growth Partners) – all investors who know what it is like to grow and sell a business.
We will also focus on scaling up and bringing startups to the next level of growth and funding. All with the experienced view of Simone La Torre (Stellar), Genna Elvin (TadaWeb), Patrick Kersten (Startups.lu), Andre Cordesmeyer (Teylor) and Laurent Hengesch (Ilavska Vuillermoz Capital).
A successful conference is made of many important details: a certain speaker here, the unexpected session there and all those we meet. That is why particular attention is paid to special moments crafted throughout the day: an interview focusing on Secondaries and GP-led Secondary transactions between the Family Office Manager Matthieu Coisne (MANHOSIOL) and Secondaries leader Gerald Carton (Coller Capital); several “pitches” of less mainstream sectors such as life sciences and biotech by Guy Geldhof (Vesalius), space by Bogdan Gogulan (New Space Capital), Healthtech by Baudouin Hue (Karista) or other views from countries like the Ukraine by Andrey Kolodyuk (UVCA). We will also deep dive in the opportunities of AI (artificial intelligence) with Jerome Wittamer (Expon Capital) who will anticipate how AI could impact investments but above all our industry and many others.
We’ll get to know first-hand the latest CSSF AIFM Dashboard figures and how they position Private Equity in the context of the dynamic Alternatives industry; and we will not forget the Luxembourg national elections, their outcome and consequences by Raphaël Kies (University of Luxembourg) and Patrick Dumont (Australian National University) who will help us better understand the results, the different potential coalitions in the making and what it could mean for the financial centre.
The side lines
For the first time the Insights conference will have a second stage. The size and diversity of our industry inspired us to propose more options and speakers. This 2nd stage will host sessions on Impact Measurement and Management, the influence of Technology in Infrastructure, the future of Fund administration, LP-GP alignment on valuations, the role of Non-Executive Directors and, in the context of the “Luxembourg Venture Days”, challenges and opportunities when doing co-investments and syndication.
The Insights is designed for Private Capital investors, fund managers and attracts a large diversity of industry professionals. This year and together with LuxInnovation, LBAN and the Luxembourg Startups Association, it will also open its doors to startups for the last part of the conference.
In alignment with LPEA’s sustainability goals and thanks to one of the conference sponsors, the Insights 2023 edition will be the first to have its CO2 emissions calculated and compensated.
Moving to LuxExpo is not only a change of location or size, it is a statement about the growth, foothold of the industry in Luxembourg and about the diversity of the involved players. Above all, it is an invitation to …be inspired!