Happy June to you all. After a slightly odd Spring here in the U.K., hopefully Summer will be a bit more stable. And that’s just the markets.
We were very pleased to release our results for the twelve months to 31 January 2023 – as we said in the announcement, “the defensive growth characteristics of our actively managed Portfolio are increasingly apparent in our financial results”. The full release and presentation (along with our FY23 Annual Report) can be found here.
They are of course backward looking, and we are very much focused on selectively seizing opportunities in today’s market. To that end, I (Colm) was on the West Coast of the US a couple of weeks ago at the Annual Investor Day of one of our US managers, and I also took the opportunity to see some other current and potential managers. The mood I’d describe as “cautiously optimistic”; no one appears to be seeing big signs of stress across their portfolios and there is substantial appetite to invest for the long term at good valuations. The private debt market has helped support M&A activity in the mid-market, even as leveraged loan and high yield bond markets have remained slow. And for ICG Enterprise Trust specifically, we are still seeing some attractive primary commitment and direct investment opportunities. Meeting the managers in person gives us more confidence in making these decisions… we might be investing in companies, but we are committing to people.
To that end, I hope that those who are able will join us at our Investor Day on 13th June at 2:30pm U.K.; you can sign up here.
As we write this, it looks like the US debt ceiling has been extended. The economy more broadly is hard to read at the moment – no doubt the subject of a future post. It’s complicated out there. In these markets more than ever, we are backing experience, track records, defensive growth and cash generation.”
All the best,
Oliver and Colm
P.S. We continue to believe one of the ways discounts in the listed private equity could narrow is through more education on the space. We published an OpEd in FT Adviser last week on this very point: ‘More investor education needed on the benefits of listed private equity’.