Mapping the private market horizon

It was our great pleasure to welcome some of the most influential private market contributors and participants to the first Titanbay Horizons conference in London. Hosted at the Biltmore Mayfair hotel in early February, the day’s panel sessions, talks and discussions gave insight into the main issues affecting our industry today. It also provided attendees with an invaluable forum for debate and networking. 



Assessing what's ahead

Fittingly, the day began with a look at What’s on the horizon? Our expert panel, consisting of Mercer’s Deborah Wardle, abrdn’s Merrick McKay and Campden Wealth’s Dominic Samuelson was questioned by our own Alex Bozoglou on the outlook for private markets in 2023. The group’s lively and forthright conversation began with a brief look back at what has driven record-breaking fundraising and investment in prior years. They also considered the recent performance of public markets, sharing their opinions on whether private markets are likely to follow suit and the implications for pricing.  

Topics such as long-termism, liquidity and why investors should avoid trying to time private markets also came to the fore. In addition, the panel chatted about environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations and the increasing popularity of impact investing in private markets. Sectors and geographies came up in conversation too, with the panel members considering the outlook for areas such as technology and healthcare. In Technology – why change is here to stay we take an in-depth look at prevailing trends in tech and what they mean for investors.  And you can read more about Titanbay’s broader outlook for the year ahead in Private market perspectives  – our annual review and outlook.

A first look into ultra-high net-worth research

Next, Dominic gave attendees a sneak preview of an upcoming report detailing  joint research between Campden Wealth and Titanbay. The research delves into how ultra-high net-worth investors (UHNWIs) view private equity in a portfolio and analyse their thoughts about investing in the asset class, their motivations for doing so and what challenges they may face.  Dominic explained the scope of the research, gave insight on participant demographics and explained that, for many family offices, private equity is no longer a peripheral consideration, instead, it is becoming a mainstream asset class. Stay tuned to our News & insights site for an update once the full report is launched in the coming weeks.

Examining the complexities of the secondary market

In this session, we had some fascinating insights into the world of GP-led secondaries, provided by Patrick Knechtli from abrdn and Richard Howell from PAI Partners. Patrick and Richard explained what is driving the increase in secondary transactions, talked the audience through some real-life examples and examined changing perceptions of GP-led secondaries. Our recent paper, Private equity – understanding the secondary market, provides more detail on this highly relevant topic.

Driving innovation in Europe

After lunch, we were joined by the first keynote speaker, former UK government minister, Sam Gyimah.  As Venture Partner at Lakestar, one of the most influential investors in entrepreneurial European tech, Sam was ideally placed to help us consider the challenges of the current macro environment and how they are creating a need to urgently fuel investment in European innovation. He did so with gusto, with a particular focus on the effects of legislative and regulatory changes. We cover some aspects of investment in innovation and entrepreneurism in Europe in our article on European unicorns.

Diversification and providing access to private markets

Next up were some breakout sessions, with Alex Bozoglou returning to explain more about the Titanbay investment process and the importance of diversification in a portfolio alongside Mercer’s Ben Forsyth. 

At the same time, Nick Rosenblatt, also from Mercer, joined Titanbay’s Adam Harrison and Max Peric to lead a session about opening access to private markets for wealth managers and private banks, and what platforms such as Titanbay are doing in this regard.

Living Dangerously with Sir Ranulph

Returning to the main auditorium, the Horizons audience was delighted to welcome the second and final keynote speaker of the day, who needed little introduction. He is, according to Guinness World Records, the World’s Greatest Living Explorer: Sir Ranulph Fiennes, OBE. Sir Ranulph’s talk on Living Dangerously was an enthralling and inspirational account of some of his expeditions and the many challenges he faced when exploring new horizons. We were treated to some spectacular (and candid) images and footage to accompany his words.


Final thoughts and questions

We rounded off the day with a final panel session. Titanbay’s CEO Thomas Eskebaek gathered together many of the day’s presenters and participants to summarise the topics we had discussed, pose some new questions arising from what we had seen and heard, and give the audience the chance to participate in a final Q&A. Thomas asked the panellists about everything from what drove them to hold a long-term optimistic view of private markets, to what needs to be done to further the understanding of the asset class among investors.

The sun set on 2023’s Horizons with an informal drinks reception, a book signing with Sir Ranulph and attendees  enjoying the chance to network and reflect on the day. 

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This material has been prepared by Titanbay Ltd and its affiliates (together, “Titanbay”) and is provided for information purposes only. Titanbay does not offer investment advice. Private market investments are an illiquid asset class with a high risk of loss of all invested capital and are only suitable for professional investors or qualified investors who have sufficient knowledge and experience to understand the risks involved. Non-affiliated entities or individuals mentioned are for information purposes only and should not be construed as an endorsement or sponsorship of Titanbay. 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.