Intense client contact helps retain trust
Allianz Capital Partners: Best Fundraising Firm – Fund of Funds – Close communication with clients has taken centre stage as general partners (GPs) continue searching for robust assets in an environment of high prices. In addition, limited partners (LPs) are becoming more discerning in their manager selection.
“In a crisis situation like the one we have been living since early 2020 the key for us as a trusted advisor to our clients is to communicate frequently and closely, putting developments into perspective and develop solutions for potential problems,” explains Michael Lindauer (pictured), co-CIO of Private Equity at Allianz Capital Partners (ACP). “The ongoing commitment of our clients to PE and the further increase in exposure during 2020 speaks to the fact that this intense communication helps to retain trust in a manager and asset class even during difficult times.”
Against a backdrop of ongoing quantitative easing and continued government support, the price of PE transactions has remained elevated. Within this context, Lindauer advises: “The key concern for GPs will be to find good assets that can support these high prices and be creative in sourcing transactions ‘off the beaten track’. This can be achieved through (sub)sector coverage-based approaches in this regard.”
He says LPs need to focus on having and gaining access to the best GPs, who in turn are able to navigate choppier waters, and selecting the right fund managers who stay disciplined despite a “hot” market. “This can be done through a consistent and long-term presence and engagement in the market and positioning the LP as a reliable partner for GPs. It also requires a structured and institutional selection process,” Lindauer says.
Judging by the ACP portfolio, PE proved to be a responsible owner of assets, supporting companies through the Covid-19 crisis thus far and increasingly uncovering interesting opportunities for new investments which tend to emerge in turbulent times.
Over the past 25 years PE and other private markets has developed into an established and well-sought after asset class. This progress is based on an increasing recognition of the asset class as a valid alternative to public markets. Lindauer provides a snapshot of the past year: “Despite the obvious disruption through Covid-19, we continued to increase our exposure to PE on an unchanged basis. It further became manifest for ACP in the successful raise of two infrastructure-related new funds from internal and external clients, totalling ~EUR2 billion of commitments.”
The firm launched the Allianz Private Equity Fund in early 2021, on the back of client demand. Lindauer outlines: “The strategy of the fund will mirror the approach of our ongoing investment programme under our ‘Invest with Allianz’ philosophy which has also been the basis for our successful infrastructure fund raises during 2019/2020.”
Lindauer discusses his outlook: “The backdrop of Covid-19 will accelerate the implementation of sustainability initiatives and further drive efforts to increase diversity in the industry. We hope to continue participating in the further growth of the asset class and help shape its further development.”
Michael Lindauer, Co-CIO of Private Equity, Allianz Capital Partners
Michael Lindauer is the co-CIO of Private Equity at Allianz Capital Partners (ACP). Since May 2020 he is a member of the board of management. He joined Allianz in 2003 from PwC Corporate Finance where he advised on venture capital and buyout transactions in Germany. Michael holds a master degree in business administration from Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich. Michael is a Fellow of the 2018 class of the Finance Leaders Fellowship and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.