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How Unigestion Grew its AUM from $4bn to $7bn+ in Three Years

Date: 2020

Firm Type: Fund of Funds Manager
Asset Class:
Private Equity, Venture Capital
Use Case:
Screening, Due Diligence, Fundraising, Investor Relations
Investment Team, Business Development
Geneva, Switzerland

We use Preqin almost every day, it’s part of our daily workflow and tools we use. I always have it open in my browser.

The challenge: staying ahead in a competitive private equity market

With 30 years of experience in private equity, Unigestion has seen the asset class evolve over time with more investors allocating capital, competition for fundraising getting fiercer, and clients becoming more sophisticated in their search for returns.

Unigestion is a specialist in the small and mid-market, which is highly attractive precisely because it is so difficult to access without the correct combination of people, skills, and tools. The exponential growth of private equity makes strategic thinking and the ability to adjust to the asset class’s increasing complexity critical.

To this end, the firm assesses the asset class annually and refines its fundraising and investment strategies appropriately. Following a top-down approach, the yearly analysis guides the firm’s activity in private equity for the coming year.

However, as the asset class keeps expanding so too does the firm’s requirements for market data and analytics to identify new opportunities and keep differentiating from the ever-growing competition.

The requirements: a private market solution supporting both its fundraising and investment strategy

As a private equity manager with limited partners, there is a clear distinction between Unigestion’s fundraising and investment activity. This creates different sets of requirements when it comes to market data and analytics.

For its fundraising arm, the firm’s Business Development team needs to keep track of fund allocation trends while expanding its reach to investors based outside Europe to attract new commitments. This means identifying direct competitors and their relationships with LPs, current funds open for investments, and track records in the new markets Unigestion is targeting.

For Unigestion’s investment arm, its growing portfolio of private equity investments (whether primary, secondary, or direct investments) come with an ever-growing need for data and analytics to support the team’s portfolio monitoring and investment activity.

To fine-tune its investment strategy and continue offering best-in-class portfolio monitoring services and custom reporting to clients, Unigestion requires access to top-level market data that would help identify favored sectors and core competencies from specific markets, to capitalize on their strengths.

Unigestion also needs access to information on fund managers and their potential fund investment opportunities to help its Investment team mitigate risks and make informed investment decisions.

The solution: data, tools and insights that complement Unigestion's strengths

With Preqin’s annual Global Reports and Quarterly Updates on the state of the asset class, Unigestion has access to the latest statistics on the fundraising market, investor trends, deals activity and dry powder levels.

Its Business Development team benefits from in-depth fundraising information on its target markets – such as Iceland and Japan – which are particularly difficult regions to approach.

Through Preqin Pro’s 13,200+ active investor profiles, Unigestion has access to detailed information on 480+ Japan-based LPs, and 25+ Iceland-based LPs. The company can see their investment preferences, allocation breakdown, ESG & impact policy, manager relationships, key contact details, and more.

Coupled with Preqin Pro’s News Alert feature, the Business Development team also receives daily notifications on investor news such as new RFPs or fund searches, new fund commitments, people moves, and future investment plans to stay ahead of the curve.

Once the Business Development team identifies new target markets, it relies on Preqin to assess the competition. By leveraging Preqin’s data on LPs and their network of relationships that have been formed over the years, the team prepares its approach with granular competitive analysis that identifies its competitors and classifies them by strategy, location, and size.

With the support of Preqin, Unigestion’s Business Development team can gain a competitive advantage by matching the relevant unique selling points of its differentiated strategy with investor preferences when fundraising.

From an investment perspective, Unigestion’s Investment team must manage its extensive portfolio of fund investments and assets, whilst assessing the various investment proposals the team receives on a regular basis. The team therefore uses Preqin as an auxiliary tool to complement the very large amount of information it requires on private equity funds and fund managers.

The team uses Preqin Pro’s Quick Search to instantly access a fund manager’s detailed profile including historical information on investment strategy, sector preferences, ESG and responsible investment policy, fund track records, and more. This helps quickly and effectively assess investment opportunities.

Pro’s targeted fundraising alerts also allow the team to track the market. Each week the team receives notifications straight to its inbox, helping track new funds coming to market and the latest fund closures, and therefore identify new opportunities.

With intuitive and customizable features, Preqin Pro supports the team’s due diligence process when evaluating potential fund investments, and enables it to make the best-informed investment decisions so that clients receive the best risk-adjusted returns.

The results: a private equity AUM growth from $4bn to $7bn+

Unigestion strongly believes that insightful, actionable data and analytics can make a difference between an average and a good strategy.

Over the past three years, the firm has managed to stay ahead of the competition and onboard global investors by developing a global presence with a unique localized approach to each of the markets it targets.

Furthermore, to become a uniquely qualified specialist in the global private equity small- to mid-market Unigestion took the strategic decision to acquire fund of funds manager Akina in February 2017.

The combination of this acquisition with Unigestion’s differentiated investment strategy supported by Preqin’s data and analytics resulted in its private equity AUM growing from $4bn to more than $7bn between 2016 and 2019.

In 2020, Unigestion plans to attract capital commitments from new markets such as the Middle East to keep this momentum of growth going.
Unigestion’s localized approach to different markets is a key driver of our AUM growth in private equity over the past 3 years, and the sourcing of new investors has been greatly supported by Preqin data.

Why Unigestion chose Preqin

  • Access to a comprehensive global coverage of 3,500+ funds in market, 18,100+ fund managers and 8,500+ investors active in private equity
  • Bolsters Unigestion’s expansion into new, difficult-to-approach markets such as Iceland, Japan and the Middle East
  • Allows Unigestion to keep track of the competition and investor activity with Preqin Pro’s fundraising and news alerts delivered direct to inbox
  • Supports the firm’s yearly assessment of the private equity asset class with research reports such as Preqin’s Quarterly Updates and annual Preqin Global Private Equity & Venture Capital Report

About Unigestion

Founded in 1971, Unigestion is an investment manager providing innovative, tailored solutions for investors worldwide across four areas: equities, private equity, multi asset and alternatives.

The firm’s conviction is that intelligent risk-taking is key to delivering consistent returns. By understanding and anticipating risk in a measured, informed way, Unigestion aims to deliver superior performance to clients.

Unigestion has a global presence extending across Europe, North America and Asia. It is privately owned, with a shareholder structure designed to ensure its long-term stability and align its interests with those of its clients.
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