Pictet Alternative Advisors launches first thematic Private Equity fund

Pictet Alternative Advisors (PAA), the Pictet Group’s wholly-owned alternative investment business line, has launched its first thematic private equity fund, which will focus on technology investments.

The Pictet Thematic Private Equity – Technology will invest in c20-25 best in class funds globally and will target up to 20 direct/co-investments in private companies over an investment period of three-four years.

This initiative will combine two of the Pictet Group’s successful franchises. Pictet Asset Management has been a pioneer in thematic investing over the last 25 years and manages USD50 billion in 14 strategies. Since 2008, PAA has set up 11 multi strategy funds and manages numerous segregated accounts with USD17 billion of assets under management, having started investing in private equity in the 1990s.

PAA considers that private markets offer an attractive route to investing in the tech sector and capitalising on its structural growth potential. As companies stay private for longer, a growing share of the investment value is created prior to the listing, when the companies are still private. 
The fund will take advantage of the irreversible trends ongoing in the digital transformation of the global economy and its impact on society, global and local economies. The recent pandemic has accelerated these ongoing trends and has further underlined the strong reliance our society has developed in only a few years towards digital processes, software applications or social networks.

Pierre Stadler, Head of Thematic Private Equity, says: “Technology remains a fertile sector. We are still in the early stage of the global digital transformation, and hence there continues to be many attractive investment opportunities.

“Software, for example, remains the fastest-growing sector globally, with an expected double digit compounded annual growth rate over the next five years.  And, while Internet use has surged, there is still much further to go, with 41 per cent of the world still lacking access to the web. Then there’s 5G. Together with the Internet of Things, the next generation of wireless technology promises to take connectivity into uncharted territory.

“As digital technologies become a bigger part of our lives, a new cohort of disruptive companies will emerge. Some of these firms will become household names. Others will have a lower public profile but still provide strong investment returns.

“Unsurprisingly, the private equity universe of tech focused fund managers has been increasing in size and number in the last decade. We believe Technology as a theme is attractive from an investment perspective, as most software companies are still privately held.

“PAA’s expertise in building diversified portfolios, that include investments in tech companies of all stages (from seed to late stage VC, Growth Equity or LBO) will enable PAA to build its Technology fund with a mitigated risk approach.

“Once the Technology fund is established, we will consider our next move, possibly into Healthcare.”

Pictet Alternative Advisors utilises a consistent portfolio construction approach across its private equity funds. It has nurtured longstanding and close relationships with a limited number of private equity firms where access to investment funds and co-investment opportunities can otherwise be restricted.

Since its debut, almost 30 years ago, PAA has committed to more than 150 private equity funds and participated in 155 co-investments of which 90 were realised generating a multiple of 2.70x on invested capital.

The Pictet Thematic Private Equity – Technology fund I will be distributed in Switzerland by Pictet Asset Management SA and Banque Pictet & Cie SA and in the rest of the world by Pictet Asset Management Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. In Europe, Pictet & Cie (Europe) SA will be distributing the fund to its professional investors base.