Canterbury Consulting’s Director of Research, Stuart Blair, CAIA, participated in two panel discussions at the annual SuperReturn U.S. West conference on Tuesday, February 13, 2018. As a part SuperReturn’s mission to bring the best discussions and events in private equity and venture capital, the conference focused on tracking trends and making connections.
Subscription Lines of Credit: Uses and Abuses
Are subscription lines of credit a useful tool? Where is the breaking point between subscription lines and fund level leverage? Does transparency solve perceived problems of disclosure of fund level returns on both a levered and unlevered basis?
Alongside Timothy Cunningham, president at Touchstone Group; Maurice Gordon, senior managing and head of private equity at Guardian Life Insurance; Wibke Pendse, managing director and market manager of global fund banking at Silicon Valley Bank; and Michael Weinmann, managing director at CRG, Mr. Blair spoke on the growing use of lines of credit in private capital funds. The group discussed how subscription lines of credit were originally used to ease the administrative burden for both general partners (GP) and limited partners (LP) alike, and how there has been a more recent trend to use lines of credit to enhance returns of funds and trigger carry sooner rather than later.
Mezzanine and Distressed Debt Investing
Are investment opportunities heavily dependent on the market cycle? Where do we stand now? Do middle market companies (and funds focused on the middle market) present an entirely different environment? With the current level of competition, how easy is it to execute “loan-to-own” strategies? Mezzanine: where is its place in the current market?
As a part of the track on private credit and distressed debt, Mr. Blair spoke with Mr. Gordon; Sasha Jensen, CEO of Jensen Partners; and Jeff Padden, founding partner and general counsel at Balbec Capital LP on the topic of mezzanine and distressed debt investing. The panel focused on the cycle dependence of distressed debt strategies, how the 2008 opportunity was closer to a once-in-a-lifetime event for distressed debt investing, and the timing of the next credit bubble.