Worldwide: 科技为何在私募基金融资中举足轻重?

Last Updated: 28 August 2019
Article by TMF Group
Most Read Contributor in Netherlands, September 2019

在中型市场中,一些具有前瞻眼光的私募股权管理人已经开始借助科技的力量来提高融资效率,改善与投资者的交流方式。

在Private Equity Wire 近日发布的《2019年PE展望报告》中,专注于私募股权领域资产配置的全球领先投资银行 Cambell Luryen 合伙人Andrew Bentley在谈及如何看待2019年融资环境时称: 

"与2017年和2018年相比,现今建立新的投资关系将更加困难。我们预计大多数资金将被投资机构合伙人用于满足现有核心资金管理者的再投资请求,资金也倾向于流入那些经过周期考验、具有可靠全球资产配置能力和掌握科技优势的管理人手中。"

美国5月9日开始对来自中国2000亿美元的进口产品征收25%的关税,中国紧随其后对600亿美元的美国进口商品征收关税,中美贸易关系处于紧张态势。在这样的大背景下,私募基金管理人需要在更加动荡的市场环境中完成投资。

在为未投资金寻找最佳投资标的时,基金管理人考虑的首要风险是在投资时出价过高,尤其是受全球贸易影响的企业。因此,有经验的投资者更倾向于将资金配置给那些无论市场环境优劣,都能够提高公司业绩的基金管理人。

TMF Group私募与房地产业务欧洲、中东及非洲地区区域总监Thomas Erichsen表示:"鉴于目前的市场状况,很难说我们会否面临市场调整和强烈震荡。与在投资其他资产类别时一样,一个成熟的投资者在进行私募投资时,往往会关注基金经理的过往业绩,了解基金管理人在市场困难时期如何管理手中的投资组合。从这一点来看,一些基金管理'新秀'未必会赢得投资人的青睐。投资者可能会将少量剩余资金交给资历尚浅的基金管理人。但鉴于目前的市场环境,他们不太可能给投资者带来非常可观的收益。"

私募利用科技落后五年,合理使用将提振市场信心

在中型市场中,一些具有前瞻眼光的私募基金管理人已经开始借助科技的力量来提高融资效率,改善与投资者的交流方式。例如,CEPERS这样的平台正在致力于优化私募市场投资中投资组合的监测和报告方式,旗下PE.Analyzer工具已成为同类产品中首个标杆性平台。正如CEPERS的首席执行官Daniel Schmidt博士所言:"交换数据有助于有限合伙人树立对私募市场的信心,同时也有利于普通合伙人了解其资金头寸在市场中的真实情况。"

私募基金管理人利用技术能够更好地理解有限合伙人的变化,以及他们对于私募股权配置的思考,从而能够采取更具针对性、定制化的策略,大大改善融资流程。不过,Erichsen认为,与对冲基金行业相比,私募基金管理人在技术运用方面至少落后了五六年。要迎头赶上对冲基金行业的科技应用水平,还有很多功课要做。在私募股权投资公司、私募和再投资基金管理公司中,很多工作仍由人工来完成 。

Erichsen 表示:"越来越多的私募基金客户对我们提供的中台报告定制化服务有需求。随着科技不断发展,情况也有所变化,投资经理在建模和采用影子会计方法时需要更多真实的数据。TMF Group作为管理商的确掌握所有的数据,现在的问题是如何帮助基金管理人能够在日常工作中随时访问这些数据,而不需要经常打电话给管理商,请求发送所需报告。私募基金管理人和基金管理服务商之间的关系很有可能会继续演变。"

颠覆性技术吸引私募基金管理人,成为最具掘金潜力的领域

科技不仅对基金管理人优化内部运营至关重要,与此同时,科技板块也是最具掘金潜力的领域之一。在欧洲的卢森堡、爱尔兰、英国和德国有许多金融科技城或数字化中心,汇聚着许多雄心勃勃的初创科技公司。

许多欧洲公司正在研发颠覆性的技术解决方案,来挑战传统行业的业务模式。在分析一家公司时,私募基金管理人感兴趣的是这家公司是否拥有合适的供应链、正确的市场划分,以及注入一定资金之后能否更好地利用科技来优化运营效率,从而触达更多客户群体。

私募股权机构感兴趣的另一个行业是清洁技术领域,这一领域可以归到科技的板块下。很多人希望成为这一领域的先行者,因此向其投入大量资金。一些有影响力的私募股权投资公司正将目光瞄准非洲的农业和清洁水生产等可持续项目。

投资科技公司的难点之一是要保持足够的信心,要相信在五年后撤出投资时,这家科技公司在市场上仍有一席之地,且仍能很好地满足客户的需求。鉴于科技创新以及消费者习惯改变速度之快,做到这一点并非易事。

"就通信方式而言,下一个风口是什么?下一代新兴的技术解决方案是什么?前几年成立的科技公司正在尝试通过转型确保不被淘,那是否存在一个长期可行的可持续商业模式?这些都是私募基金管理人在大举投资科技行业时必须考虑的问题。" Erichsen对此建议道。

联合投资交易看涨,2019年预计突破千亿美元规模

Private Equity Wire发布的《2019年PE展望报告》中的另一项发现则与联合投资有关。

国际投资咨询公司康桥汇世(Cambridge Associates)的负责人Andrea Auerbach称:"2018年联合投资规模约有300亿美元。鉴于我们无法看到所有的交易,实际数字很可能比预计的高一倍,达到600亿美元。"

"联合投资是一种调整投资者私人投资风险敞口的方法,通过投资特定、独立的项目机会来实现投资意图。总的来说,我认为今年联合投资交易预计将超过1000亿美元。" Auerbach预测道。

Erichsen对此表示认同。他表示:"资金吸引和配置方式越来越多元化。然而,联合投资交易并非常规方式。通常情况下,只有联合投资符合自己投资策略的投资经理才会选择这种方式。"

健康的一级市场将溢出健康的二级市场,有助于私募策略性投资

投资者对私募股权投资兴趣浓厚的原因部分在于除明显的回报率因素和与传统证券投资的非关联性外,私募股权投资具有更大的策略性投资潜力。这要归功于不断深化发展的私募股权二级市场,很大程度上使得在有限合伙人无论是出于短期流动性需求还是其他因素希望退出基金时,普通合伙人不必有太多顾虑。私募股权投资不再仅仅是陷入困境的卖方的保护伞。

目前,私募股权二级市场大约有500到600亿美元的未投资金,Erichsen表示:"在存量资金较大的情况下,投资者会考虑改变投资策略,只要有健康的一级基金市场存在,总会有溢出资金形成一个同样健康的二级市场。" 

全球巨头黑石在今年早些时候为旗下第八个二级基金Blackstone Strategic Partners Secondaries VIII募集了至少69亿美元,凸显了二级市场基金的融资能力。在2017年的二级市场基金募资表现上,黑石同样令人刮目相看,金额高达75亿美元。

Erichsen指出,二级市场的部分吸引力在于,它为投资者提供了进一步参与特定基金投资组合投资的切入点。投资者进行投资的时候不会太接近J曲线的起点,或者离J曲线的后端太远。投资分布是不均衡的,尽管收益率仍有增长,但就资金被锁定的时间长短而言,投资的最佳周期变短了。

Erichsen总结道:"对一些投资者来说,投资周期变短非常具有吸引力,他们可以计算在更短的周期内他们的回报可能是多少。如果从风险的角度来看,它可能是一个较低的风险回报比。这是一个投资者退出某些投资并重新配置资金的重要方式,也是推动二级市场增长的部分原因。" 

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本文最初乃由Private Equity WireProperty Funds World所发布。

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