Private Equity – How to balance risks versus opportunities

Private Equity – How to balance risks versus opportunities This year’s Oxford Symposium (13-14 December) on Risk Management in Private Equity asks how investors can balance risks versus opportunities in order to maximize risk-adjusted returns – in other words, risk management as a value add. This article gives insights into the focus topics of the symposium and provides food for thought to investors on how to maximize risk-adjusted returns.     Mind the... [more]

Brexit – The great disorder under the Heavens?

Brexit – The great disorder under the Heavens? It looks that the financial industry bet the wrong way on the biggest market event since the 2008 financial crisis. The Brexit referendum’s outcome has already been called ‘the greatest Black Swan event of the millennium’ (personally, I believe that this unexpected result rather falls into the category of what we practitioners refer to in our daily work as ‘king... [more]

Trees that are slow to grow bear the best fruit

Trees that are slow to grow bear the best fruit   Private equity is estimated to be less than 2% of all assets managed internationally. It is – at least in theory – an inherently contrarian asset class. But being countercyclical and contrarian is difficult. For illustration, a few days ago I read an article that predicted the ‘denominator effect’ to return. The news was dated April 1st, so I... [more]

The Private Equity Risk Stalemate

The Private Equity Risk Stalemate Recently I had a longer debate with the founder of a software company who argued that there is no market for sophisticated solutions (like value-at-risk) for quantifying private equity risks. I respect this person’s experience and judgment and, sadly, I tend to agree. I use the word ‘sadly’ as risk management (in the sense of balancing threats versus opportunities) is... [more]

Three Things to Remember when Investing in Quants: an Interview with Michael Richter

Three Things to Remember when Investing in Quants: an Interview with Michael Richter High net worth individual investor and 40 year financial services veteran Michael Richter shares his insights about due diligence on quants. Three things to remember when investing in quants Operational due diligence - how does your manager segregate controls Half lives, hypotheses and what to look out for before you invest Ask these questions when getting into the black box The... [more]

Disrupting Foreign Exchange with Blockchain

Disrupting Foreign Exchange with Blockchain Last week Lykke announced a competition to build a new and superfast foreign exchange and settlement platform based on blockchain. Its Swiss founder is Richard B. Olsen. He was a fintech founder long before that buzzword entered our vocabulary. In the eighites, he established a real time financial information system and in the nineties, a Forex trading platform startup that... [more]

Fintech Firm Pushes the Banking Boundaries

Fintech Firm Pushes the Banking Boundaries

A mobile-only financial institution has taken a move towards acquiring a bank charter in the US. The fintech firm called Varo Money has filed a formal application and hopes to become a national bank. This private equity backed fintech firm is yet another firm to push the banking boundaries – while the authorities are trying to keep up with the [...]

Private Equity Giant to Buy WebMD

Private Equity Giant to Buy WebMD

One of the world’s biggest and the most known private equity firms is buying an online health publisher WebMD Health Corp. The parties announced the deal on Monday evening, stating the deal would be worth around $2.8 billion.   The financials of the deal   Private equity giant KKR will pay $66.50 per share, which is a premium of 20.5% [...]

PE Firm Finstar to Invest in Fintech

PE Firm Finstar to Invest in Fintech

Private equity firm Finstar Financial Group has announced a strong commitment to fintech. The Moscow-based firm is planning to invest $150 million in fintech startups in the next five years.   Targeting high growth SMEs   The private equity group is planning to target high growth SMEs and provide help to its portfolio companies in terms of R&D. Finstar has [...]

Banks in Brazil & the UK Preparing for Fintech Revolution

Banks in Brazil & the UK Preparing for Fintech ...

The digital revolution has changed the banking sector and more change is to come with fintech startups. Big shifts are currently taking place everywhere, but Brazil and the UK are preparing to be disrupted big time. Many experts believe the banking sector in these countries won’t be the same soon.   Brazil’s banking might go through the biggest change   [...]

Shift to Alternative Assets Gathers Pace

Shift to Alternative Assets Gathers Pace

Institutional investors are turning into alternative assets. The worldwide trend of opting for investments such as property, infrastructure, private equity and hedge funds has been gathering pace since last year. The shift to alternative assets has also driven up valuations of these illiquid assets – concern over returns is starting to mount up.   Alternative assets under management increasing   [...]

The Buoyant Fundraising Market in Europe Continues

The Buoyant Fundraising Market in Europe Continues

The European fundraising market is looking strong and aggressive. Its latest beneficiary has been Star Capital Partners. The private equity group announced this week it has raised €800 million in the upbeat market. But as fundraising has heated up, suitable assets are becoming harder to come by – turning fund’s attention away from the region.   Star Capital breaks the [...]

Swiss Fintech Gets an Investment from a Large Bank

Swiss Fintech Gets an Investment from a Large Bank

Another major bank has understood the value in investing in fintech, this time in Switzerland. Swiss-based private bank Julius Baer announced its investment in Nectar on Tuesday. The investment is the second big name to invest in the wealth management provider.   The latest investment in Nectar   The details of the new investment remain unknown. Nectar made the announcement [...]

European PE Looking Beyond Europe

European PE Looking Beyond Europe

European private equity firms are setting their sight outside of Europe. The region’s groups invested around €22 billion during the second quarter in non-European assets. This is twice as much investment as the PE firms allocated to local assets.   Shifting focus   S&P Global Market Intelligence reported on the second quarter’s findings that show a strong indication of shifting [...]

Cirque du Soleil Leaps into an Acquisition

Cirque du Soleil Leaps into an Acquisition

Cirque du Soleil has broadened its horizon and moved beyond just being a circus arts company. The Canadian company, together with its private equity owner TPG, announced an acquisition of Blue Man Productions. The group is expected to have other targets in its bold acquisition list, as it wants to expand its grip as a global entertainment group.   The [...]

JP Morgan Eyeing a UK Fintech Business

JP Morgan Eyeing a UK Fintech Business

The US bank has been relatively quiet in the acquisition department ever since the financial crash. However, it has regained confidence and according to reports, is now approaching a UK fintech business. Worldpay Group could become the bank’s biggest acquisition.   Preliminary approaches   Fox Business reported the board of Worldpay admitting the US bank has made a preliminary approach [...]

Banks Are Trying to Keep Up with Fintech Startups

Banks Are Trying to Keep Up with Fintech Startups

Fintech startups are changing the face of the financial industry. People are adopting technology at an increasing pace, which is creating new opportunities for startups to come and disrupt the traditional system. Banks have had to take notice. So, how are major banks trying to keep up with fintech startups?   Increasing technology budgets   Traditional banks have realised that [...]

Famous University to Unload Over $2bn of Funds

Famous University to Unload Over $2bn of Funds

One of the world’s most famous universities, Harvard University, is close to selling its private equity holdings. The university is also planning to unload some of its venture capital and real estate funds at the same time. According to the reports, the assets the university is looking to unload are worth well over $2 billion.   Plans are emerging about [...]

Apollo Global Management Creates the Largest Buyout Fund

Apollo Global Management Creates the Largest Buyout ...

Private equity is not going anywhere. The latest proof is about to be revealed soon, according to reporting by CNBC. Sources close to Apollo Global Management are suggesting the private equity firm is about to close its latest buyout fund. The fund is set to become the largest in the history of buyout funds.   Breaking records   The previous [...]

Brexit Fears Defied by Fintech Startup Yoyo

Brexit Fears Defied by Fintech Startup Yoyo

The British mobile payment app has defied Brexit fears by fundraising an impressive £12 million. The successful fundraising round also highlights the strength in venture capital investment, according to the Financial Times who broke the story on Monday. The fundraising will be aimed at supporting the firm’s European and US expansion.   Big fundraising news for Brexit Britain   There [...]

Australia & Japan to Increase Fintech Cooperation

Australia & Japan to Increase Fintech ...

Australian financial authorities have announced a completion of a framework that will see them start cooperating with their Japanese counterparts. The framework is aimed at promoting innovation in the financial services sector, bringing the fintech sector in both countries ever closer to each other.   Details of the cooperation agreement   The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) announced the [...]