Private markets house view for 2024
What’s in store for private assets?
The value of investments, and the income from them, can go down as well as up and an investor may get back less than the amount invested. Past performance is not a guide to future results.
£13.0bn/€14.5bn/$16.9bn AUM and we hold over 400 advisory board seats. We offer a huge range of private equity solutions for our clients, having raised over 100 vehicles, backed over 500 private equity general partners (GPs) and having made over 1,000 fund commitments.
Source: abrdn, all data as at 31 December 2021.
We have over 40 private equity professionals globally, bringing invaluable on-the-ground insight and expertise.
We believe that ESG factors are financially material and can impact a company’s performance – either positively or negatively. Understanding ESG risks and opportunities, alongside other financial metrics, is therefore an intrinsic part of our research process.
We actively engage with the companies in which we invest with a top down Portfolio Construction Committee assessment of ESG risks by country. We screen out pipeline opportunities that do not fit with our ESG focus and objective and combine this with the insights of our investment managers, ESG equity analysts and central ESG investment team. This comprehensive approach means we can build a richer, more holistic view of each company. It also means we can consistently evaluate one company against another.
This is all part of our responsible stewardship of our clients’ assets – helping us mitigate risks, unlock opportunities and enhance potential long-term returns.
Primary investments are those made in private equity funds during their initial capital-raising. A portfolio of primary fund investments, also known as a fund-of-funds, gives investors access to the expertise of multiple fund managers and a variety of companies through a single investment. Our long experience as a primary investor means our clients can benefit from the following:
Secondary investments involve the buying and selling of pre-existing investor commitments to private equity funds. We are well placed and active in the secondary market where our deep relationships, strong reputation and network of intermediaries give us a distinct advantage and allow us to offer our clients excellent access to this market.
Private equity co-investments, or direct investments, are investments made alongside another GP directly into companies. There are many benefits to co-investing, including the ability to gain exposure to what we believe are attractive investment opportunities whilst avoiding a layer of fees. Again, our strong, long-standing relationships with GPs, combined with our proven experience, mean we are leading players in this segment of the market.
The investment objective is to achieve long-term total returns through holding a diversified portfolio of private equity funds and direct investments into private companies alongside private equity managers (“co-investments”), a majority of which will have a European focus.
Deputy Head of Secondaries – Private Equity
Head of Co-Investments
Head of Europe - Private Equity
Merrick joined the company in 2014 and is based in the Edinburgh and London offices. abrdn's European Private Equity business, with over €8bn AuM, encompasses primary and secondary fund investments and co-investment activities undertaken by a team of over 30 investment professionals. Merrick is Head of Europe and a member of the abrdn Private Equity Investment Committee.
An Australian, Merrick has over 25 years’ experience in the European private equity industry. Prior to joining abrdn, Merrick was Head of European Investments and Senior Partner of Macquarie’s Private Markets division. Previous roles include 13 years as a Partner and Investment Committee member of Primary Capital (the London-based, lower mid-market private equity firm) where he was responsible for leading, originating and managing numerous private equity investments in the UK. Merrick holds Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Laws degrees from the University of Queensland.
Merrick is a regular speaker at private equity conferences, and is a member of Invest Europe’s Limited Partner Council.
Head of Secondaries
abrdn Private Equity Opportunities Trust - Alan Gauld, Fund Manager update (October 2022)