European Investors' Appetite for Purchasing Private Equity Secondaries - December 2014

by Francesca Braganza

  • 01 Dec 2014
  • PE

Preqin’s Secondary Market Monitor currently tracks 108 Europe-based institutional investors that have an interest in acquiring stakes in private equity vehicles via the secondary market, representing 34% of all LPs currently active on the buyers’ market. These investors have aggregate assets under management (AUM) of $6.3tn. Private sector pension funds make up the majority (18%) of these investors, as shown in the chart below, with insurance companies (17%),  asset managers (16%), public pension funds (15%) and family offices (10%) representing a significant proportion of Europe-based secondary market buyers. Geographically, UK-based firms make up the largest proportion of these institutional investors (24%), with Germany- (13%), Netherlands- (12%) and Switzerland-headquartered LPs (10%) also representing a significant sample.

UniCredit Markets & Investment Banking is one of the largest institutional investors currently holding some preference for acquiring private equity fund stakes, with €400bn in AUM. The Munich-based asset manager takes an opportunistic approach towards purchasing fund stakes on the market, and has a particular interest in utilizing the secondary market to gain additional exposure to buyout fund managers with whom it has previously invested. UniCredit Markets & Investment Banking is not interested in participating in stapled secondary transactions, but would consider investing in early secondaries. 

CNP Assurances is another of the largest Europe-based investors involved in the secondary buyers’ market in regards to AUM, with €300bn currently under management. The France-based insurance company participates in the market in order to access sectors in which it has not previously invested, to form new GP relationships and to gain additional exposure to funds to which it has already committed. CNP Assurances considers acquiring stakes in a range of fund types, focusing on opportunities in Europe and the US, and is open to all fund vintages, although it has a particular interest in more mature vehicles.

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