Private Capital

Meeting the
Challenge of CPI +5%

Posted by Commonfund on Mar 21, 2017

Topic: Asset Allocation Equities Industry Knowledge Investment Strategy Private Capital

Despite the fact that the economy is expanding and the S&P 500 has been up for eight straight years, many nonprofit investors haven't been feeling the benefits as the main tenets of the endowment model of investing have been hampered by the market environment. In this Commonfund Forum 2017 session, Commonfund President & CEO, Catherine Keating, provides insight into the challenges of meeting CPI + 5% for fiduciaries. To obtain a copy of the slides shown in this presentation, please contact your Commonfund relationship officer.

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Venture Capital: What’s Next? | Strategy & Manager Spotlight – Josh Kushner

Posted by Commonfund on Dec 15, 2016

Topic: Private Capital

Commonfund Capital reviews their venture capital investing strategy and guest speaker Josh Kushner, Founder and Managing Partner of Thrive Capital, talks about the current venture capital environment.

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Venture Capital – Looking Forward and Upward

Posted by Aaron Miller | Kent Scott, Managing Director, Commonfund on Dec 5, 2016

Topic: Investment Strategy Private Capital

Beginning in the second half of 2015, there was growing caution that started to impact pricing and investment activity in early 2016. This valuation cooling period and subsequent shift in mindset appears to have been brief and private valuations have generally held steady, particularly in early-stage. The market appears to be bifurcating where companies in large markets that are growing with attractive unit economies are able to close financings at high valuations while companies with average performance are experiencing protracted fundraisings at mixed valuations. As a result, we continue to see more money going into fewer and higher profile winners.

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Asset Allocation with Private Equity

Posted by Commonfund on May 2, 2016

Topic: Asset Allocation Investment Strategy Private Capital

Private assets such as private equity and venture capital have long been a thorn in the side of asset allocators and chief investment officers. Their lack of liquidity makes it hard to model their return streams as an input to an asset allocation model, risk budget, or optimization function. Typically, asset allocators make assumptions based more on intuition and expectation than fact.

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Emerging Markets

Posted by Tim Yates, Managing Director, Commonfund | Jireh Li on Apr 21, 2016

Topic: Investment Strategy Private Capital

Notwithstanding the recent rally in several emerging markets, there has been no shortage of challenging headlines emanating from the region over the past year. While China has not experienced a “hard landing”, growth continues to moderate and it has encountered challenges in its economic rebalancing. China’s public stock market, largely dominated by state-run enterprises, dropped precipitously after a meteoric rise over the past 18 months. Latin America is challenged by a deep recession in Brazil that has been complicated by significant political uncertainty and high probability that the current President does not finish her term. Africa is mixed as a strong U.S. dollar has had a positive impact on exporting countries; however the continent is not immune from declining currencies or the fall of commodity prices.

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Private Capital Secondaries and Solving for CPI +5%

Posted by Peter Burns, Managing Director | Cari Lodge | Scott Beckelman, Principal, Greenhill Cogent on Apr 11, 2016

Topic: Private Capital

In an environment of muted equity and fixed income market returns how can institutional investors achieve their long-term target returns? Commonfund believes that maximizing the illiquidity return premium of private capital investments is one approach that can deliver compelling results.

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Global Economic & Investment Outlook:
2016 – A Year of Transition

Posted by Commonfund on Jan 4, 2016

Topic: Asset Allocation Equities Fixed Income Hedge Funds Market Commentary Private Capital

Our 2016 Global Economic and Investment Outlook provides a detailed look at our expectations and portfolio positioning going forward.

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Using Headwinds to Gain a Foothold in emerging markets

Posted by Brijesh Jeevarathnam | Jireh Li on Aug 17, 2015

Topic: Industry Knowledge Private Capital

Just a couple years ago, emerging markets were the place to be for institutions seeking outsized portfolio gains. Economic growth was chugging along at 5 to 6 percent, compared to 2 percent in the United States. Equity markets were outshining those of the developed world. Foreign currencies were appreciating, providing a tailwind for U.S. dollar investors. These factors added up to an attractive emerging markets advantage and an incentive to invest there.

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A Closer Look at Emerging Markets Private Capital

Posted by Brijesh Jeevarathnam | Jireh Li on Jul 1, 2015

Topic: Market Commentary Private Capital

It was only a couple years ago that emerging markets were the “it” place for institutions seeking outsized portfolio gains. Compared to just 2% in the United States, economic growth overseas was chugging along at 5-6%, and equity markets were outshining those of the developed world.

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Global private equity: what and why

Posted by Mark Hoeing, Managing Director | Miriam Schmitter, Managing Director, Commonfund Capital on Aug 17, 2014

Topic: Asset Allocation Industry Knowledge Private Capital

An article in the previous issue of Insight sought to discern the difference between perception and reality in private equity investing generally, and included a companion article focused on European private equity specifically. Now, we take a deeper look at international private equity, with an emphasis on Europe as well as Japan and Australia. Once again, there is a perception gap that may lead long-term institutional investors seeking to diversify their portfolio both by asset class/strategy and geography to overlook what we believe are compelling opportunities outside the U.S. Herewith, the what and why of international private equity.

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Private equity: perception and reality

Posted by Peter Burns, Managing Director | Mark Hoeing, Managing Director | Kent Scott, Managing Director, Commonfund | Dave Jensen, Associate Director, Commonfund Capital on Apr 12, 2014

Topic: Equities Private Capital

For a variety of reasons, some investors believe that private equity may have lost its edge as a key allocation for their portfolios. This perception may overlook reality. A closer examination reveals that the fundamentals are intact and there are attractive opportunities for skilled private equity managers. As always, investors should be discerning in their choice of managers, and continue to place access ahead of allocation. Here, a look at some widely held perceptions and the reality that may be overlooked or misunderstood.

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Straight Talk About Private Equity

Posted by Commonfund on Apr 1, 2014

Topic: Private Capital

For reasons unknown, many investors assume that private equity may have lost its edge as a key allocation for their portfolios. This perception, however, may not align with reality.By taking a closer look, investors will see that the fundamentals are still intact and there are many attractive opportunities for skilled private equity managers. In this…

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Subscribe & Manage Your Frequency to Insights Blog

Posted by Commonfund on Jan 5, 2014

Topic: Asset Allocation Equities Fixed Income Governance and Policy Hedge Funds Industry Knowledge Market Commentary Operating Assets Outsourced Investing Partners People Private Capital Quant Strategies Responsible Investing Risk Management

Subscribe to the Insights Blog from Commonfund to stay informed with the latest information for nonprofit investors and the public sector.

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What, me? Illiquid?

Posted by Tim Yates, Managing Director, Commonfund | Paul Von Steenburg, Managing Director, Commonfund | Kent Scott, Managing Director, Commonfund on Oct 1, 2013

Topic: Industry Knowledge Private Capital

In the wake of the Global Financial Crisis, institutional investors were rightfully concerned about the liquidity profiles of their long term portfolios. Although markets have recovered substantially since the depths of that crisis, illiquidity remains an important topic with lingering concerns about locking up capital for 10-plus years.

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‘What, me? Illiquid?’

Posted by Tim Yates, Managing Director, Commonfund | Paul Von Steenburg, Managing Director, Commonfund | Kent Scott, Managing Director, Commonfund on Apr 12, 2013

Topic: Industry Knowledge Private Capital

Although it has been five years since the collapse of Lehman Brothers—an event that transformed a bad recession into a global financial crisis—the scars of that traumatic episode remain etched in the psyche of many institutional investors. We have new worst-case scenarios in our risk models and a greater appreciation for so-called “black-swan” or “left-tail” events. Nowhere is this lingering fear more palpable than in the consideration of illiquid investments as investors continue to think through the amount of capital to lock up in “illiquid” strategies. Because of this recent history and uncertainty about the future, we often hear investors ask, “Why should I lock up capital for 10-plus years? And if I should, how much?”

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