“I think the industry has figured out that they can work in this environment, that they can meet their targets,” says Guy Berman, a Torys partner who advises private equity funds. “They know they can do things by video call, and do their due diligence, get to know the company there are interested in, the business and the people.”
Research company Ipsos conducted the second annual survey in November and December. It found most fund managers had an optimistic view. That’s despite some investor concerns over putting money into public companies that are commanding high valuations.
“The majority of respondents believe the relative outlook for 2021 will be much improved,” the private equity survey found, especially in contrast to the challenges of 2020.
“More transaction volumes, better debt-financing terms and heightened [mergers and acquisitions] activity are all expected, and year over year, twice as many respondents also anticipate it will be easier to raise new funds in 2021.”
Michael Akkawi, head of the firm’s PE practice, noted how much cash private equity and pension funds are sitting on. “There’s so much capital allocated to these classes . . . and that capital needs to be deployed, so they are out there looking for the best opportunities in the current environment.”