3 questions to smart minds
Photo: C. Hollenberg | Perusa

Fundraising in a difficult environment

For this 3 questions to C. Hollenberg

Photo: C. Hollen­berg | Perusa
12. Decem­ber 2011

At the begin­ning of Decem­ber, the private equity fund PERUSA Part­ners announ­ced the closing of its second fund in the amount of 207 million euros. This is an impres­sive success, which not many funds could show this year. Many German and inter­na­tio­nal inves­tors are unsett­led by the crisis and are reluc­tant to invest their capi­tal in private equity funds. — Does fund­rai­sing require new thin­king or new tech­ni­ques? How do you succeed in convin­cing investors? 

For this 3 ques­ti­ons to Part­ner at PERUSA PARTNERS in Munich

1. How do you manage to coll­ect more than 200 million euros from insti­tu­tio­nal inves­tors in times of econo­mic crisis?

We don’t have any special fund­rai­sing skills. The decisive factors were proba­bly the posi­tio­ning of our fund stra­tegy in an inte­res­t­ing niche — special situa­tions in German-spea­king count­ries — and the rela­tively small size of the fund.

2. What factors do you hold respon­si­ble for your success?

In the eyes of leading insti­tu­tio­nal inves­tors, we have become the reco­gni­zed leader in our niche over the past 3 years, and being a leader makes life easier than compe­ting broadly. We mana­ged to draw down the funds from the last fund very quickly, which is usually the core problem for teams in our market segment. We have an attrac­tive port­fo­lio to show, have built a team of top-notch people, and have kept all aspects of our busi­ness stable and predic­ta­ble for inves­tors from the beginning.

3. Has the econo­mic crisis chan­ged the way inves­tors think?

Very strong! Inves­tors know that they are “in the driver’s seat” again, because there is a wave of fund­rai­sing coming up, nume­rous funds need money. The requi­re­ments for due dili­gence have ther­e­fore become consider­a­bly more strin­gent. For undif­fe­ren­tia­ted stra­te­gies or even for teams that are not — or in the eyes of inves­tors as of today are no longer — market leaders, the dura­tion of fund­rai­sing is extended.

The ideal of the resource-saving “first, final and only” closing, as we were just gran­ted, will proba­bly become rarer in 2012. Inves­tor inte­rest is also focu­sing more on funds opera­ting regio­nally or stra­te­gi­cally in a niche, which can demons­trate a long track record for their stra­tegy. Finally, the manage­ment struc­tures of the teams below part­ner level are now incre­asingly analy­zed by inves­tors and conside­red important. So we are moving in the private equity busi­ness towards a more mature, profes­sio­nal industry.

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