Separating the Signal From the Noise to Identify Trends in PE Structures, Processes and Terms

Although it is rarely easy to have a finger on the pulse of the PE industry, it has been more difficult than usual over the last several months. The coronavirus pandemic has abruptly introduced new trends that deviate starkly from last year (e.g., increased negotiating power for LPs), while other trends have been steadily percolating for a while now (e.g., stricter standards for LP advisory committees and firmer fiduciary duties for GPs). To distinguish those issues, Morgan Lewis recently hosted a webinar exploring some of the key trends in PE emerging from the first six months of 2020. The presentation featured Morgan Lewis partners Christopher J. Dlutowski, Peter M. Phleger and Carrie J. Rief. The program specifically focused on fundraising, opportunities, the closing process, co‑investments and customized structures, while also providing the latest status of key PE fund terms such as expenses, side letters and most favored nation provisions. This article highlights the key insights and takeaways from the discussion that are relevant to PE sponsors. For additional commentary from a Morgan Lewis partner, see our two-part series on the collapse of the Abraaj Group: “Current Status of Litigation and Responses From LPs and Regulators” (Jul. 21, 2020); and “How Sponsors and the Entire PE Industry Are Adapting to the Aftermath” (Jul. 28, 2020).

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