PE in a Recession: Tips for Tailoring Fundraising Efforts, Anticipating Demand for Secondaries and Managing Co‑Investments (Part One of Three)

Capital – obtaining it, preserving it and earning it – is king at all times in the private funds industry. That is even more true during a market downturn, as investment opportunities dry up, valuations plummet and investors become skittish. Therefore, as various macroeconomic indicators flicker with signs that a potential recession looms, fund managers would be well served to get out ahead of those concerns by evaluating ways to tailor their fundraising practices, secondary market efforts and co‑investment needs to the changing economic landscape. This first article in a three-part series summarizes the industry’s views on a potential recession, as well as ways managers’ fundraising efforts will need to be modified and the likely importance of the secondary market. The second article will detail ways fund managers can bolster their existing funds to endure a recession, including key terms to review, amendments to seek, liquidity avenues to pursue and investor concerns to monitor. The third article will identify different workforce management issues to consider and pursue to prepare for potential layoffs while also retaining critical employees. See “Recent Status of Negotiations of Co‑Investment Access, Management Fees and Other PE Fund Terms (Part Two of Two)” (Aug. 2, 2022); and “Emerging Trends in PE Fundraising, Cash Management and Affiliate Services” (Sep. 14, 2021).

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