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This week’s Private Equity Wire Tuesday podcast featured American investor and philantropist Mark Yusko – founder, chief investment officer and managing director of Morgan Creek Capital Management – which launched its first ETF SPAC in February this year. Morgan Creek is an investment management firm with offices in North Carolina and Shanghai. 

In this interview Yusko discusses why, in his view, SPACs are now replacing the traditional Series C, D and E VC rounds, how retail investors could tap into previously ‘hard to access’ late-stage growth PE with the help of SPAC vehicles, and his take on the viability of the SPAC craze. 

During the pandemic, environmental, social and governance issues have been rising up the agenda across all industries, not least financial services. This week’s feature for PEW explores how within the financial sector, we’ve seen businesses eager to embed impact as an integral part of their overarching company strategy. 

However, while ESG has become a ‘buzzword’, a lot of businesses don’t know how best to maximise their impact, writes Sam Gilbert-Ward, business analyst at Pollen Street Capital. While ESG has indeed become integrated into the investment mainstream, it shouldn’t just be viewed as a box to be ticked, according to Gilbert-Ward. 

In other news, Paris-based private equity firm Ardian closed a USD8.9 billion buyout fund, while BlackRock closed its USD4.8 billion Global Renewable Power Fund III with commitments from over 100 institutional investors. Partners Group exited a portfolio of US industrial properties at a value of over USD1 billion, while Aramco agreed a USD12.4 billion sale of half of its pipelines business to a group led by EIG Global Energy. 

Also this week, Singapore-headquartered Affirma Capital held a first close of its fifth Korea fund, Ascenta V, with an AUM of USD403 million, to invest in buyout and growth capital opportunities in emerging markets including Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. 

The firm is targeting a final close for Ascenta V of USD636 million by October 2021. Affirma Capital increased the fund’s target size by 40 per cent from USD455 million, despite raising funds during the pandemic. 

 

Karin Wasteson
Editor, Private Equity Wire

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