How should we think about diversification in private equity?

How should we think about diversification in private equity?
Private markets are often lauded as being excellent portfolio diversifiers for investors seeking alternative drivers of risk and return. But the diversification possibilities that exist within the private market asset class tend to receive less attention, say Titanbay.

Private equity (PE), for instance, covers a range of investment vehicles and opportunities. Funds in this space are not all alike. They all have different risk-reward profiles, i.e. different return expectations and different loss rates. Below are just some of the characteristics we can use to distinguish one fund from another:

  • Stage of investment — venture capital, growth, buyout, credit etc.

  • Fund size — different strategies will target the lower mid-market, large and mega spaces, dependent upon the fund size. Each of these depicts a different risk-reward profile.

  • Investment style — is the fund oriented towards growth or value?

  • Geographic focus — some are global in nature, while others target specific regions.

  • Sector specialism — there are PE funds that target individual sectors, and those with a generalist strategy.

Such varied characteristics offer potential PE investors or limited partners (LPs), many different avenues for diversification.


A blended approach
For many LPs, getting the right blend of private equity assets is crucial. Structuring a portfolio, choosing managers, carrying out due diligence and allocating capital are not simple tasks, but they are essential. Patience and expertise are required in abundance.

And for each type of PE fund, there are different points to consider. More predictable return profiles might be found among large-cap funds, but such funds might also have less potential for outperformance.

On the flip side of the coin, funds that focus on the small and lower mid-market might have more potential to generate returns over and above those of the wider market. Such a fund is likely to display higher levels of volatility than its large cap-focused peers, however.

Striking the right balance
Making a commitment as an LP means that your capital will be locked up for a long time (often ten years). It is essential to have a deep understanding of the strategy that spans team set-up, performance and a bottom-up understanding of the portfolio.

Against the background of a fast-evolving private equity landscape, one way to access a very broad opportunity set is to take a multi-manager approach. For more of our insights on striking the right balance and a variety of other private market topics, click here to register for our newsletter.


Important disclosures
This material has been prepared by Titanbay Ltd and its affiliates (together, “Titanbay”) and is provided for information purposes only. This document is directed at professional investors and qualified investors who have sufficient knowledge and experience to understand the risks of investing in private market investments.

This material should not be construed as legal, tax, investment advice or an invitation, general solicitation, recommendation, an opinion regarding the appropriateness or suitability of any investment strategy, or offer to buy, sell, or hold any investments or securities offered on or off the Titanbay investment platform. The views, opinions and estimates expressed herein constitute personal judgments of certain members of the Titanbay team based on current market conditions and are subject to change without notice. This information in no way constitutes Titanbay research and should not be treated as such. Any forecasts, figures, opinions or investment techniques and strategies set out are for information purposes only, based on certain assumptions and current market conditions and are subject to change without prior notice.

All information presented herein is considered to be accurate at the time of production unless otherwise stated and has been prepared from sources Titanbay believes to be reliable. No representation or warranty or guarantee, express or implied, is given as to the truth, accuracy or completeness of the information or opinions contained herein and material aspects of descriptions contained in this material are subject to change without notice. No reliance may be placed for any purposes on the information or opinions contained in this material. Titanbay is not responsible for any error or omission in this material, nor do we accept liability for any losses arising from its use. Non-affiliated entities mentioned are for informational purposes only and should not be construed as an endorsement or sponsorship of Titanbay.

Investments in private placements and private equity investments via feeder funds in particular, are complex, highly illiquid and speculative in nature and involve a high degree of risk. The value of an investment may go down as well as up, and investors may not get back their money originally invested. Investors who cannot afford to lose their entire investment should not invest. Past performance, including simulated performance, is not a reliable indicator of future performance. For private equity investments via feeder funds, investors will typically receive illiquid and/or restricted membership interests that may be subject to holding period requirements and/or liquidity concerns. Investors who cannot hold an investment for the long term (at least 10 years) should not invest.

Titanbay Ltd is an Appointed Representative of Brooklands Fund Management Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority with firm reference number 757575. Copyright Titanbay 2023.

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