AVCJ Private Equity & Venture Forum - Australia & New Zealand

The premier private equity & venture forum in Australia & New Zealand

Four Seasons Hotel, Sydney and Online

  • 17:45

    Opening cocktail reception

    Venue: The Mint, 10 Macquarie Street, Sydney

  • 19:00

    VIP GP-LP Dinner (invitation only)

  • 08:30

    Limited partners’ session (invitation only)

    A behind-closed-doors session in which LPs can share their experiences of private markets investment – across multiple geographies, using third-party managers or going direct, and leveraging advisory relationships. Attendance is limited to investors with active alternatives programs as well as to those currently not allocating but who wish to find out more about the industry. Featuring presentations, an interactive panel, and a practical group discussion, the session will cover topics including:

    • Establishing the right balance across strategies and geographies
    • Shorter fundraising cycles and the risk of re-ups outpacing distributions
    • The pros and cons of GPs adding new strategies
    • Accessing co-investment and being a value-added partner
    • LPs building up direct asset management capabilities
    • Evolving requirements on ESG and decarbonisation
    • Navigating superannuation fund benchmarking requirements
    • The strategic implications of superannuation fund mergers
  • 10:00


  • 10:30

    Keynote address

  • 11:00

    Global viewpoint: Standing strong in 2022

    Private equity hit record highs in 2021 across fundraising, investment, and exits and according to Mergermarket data there were 4,605 buyouts globally in Q1-Q3 2021, beating the annual record for global PE volume. Managers in North America and Europe are deploying capital and returning to market with such alacrity that some LPs are struggling to keep pace with re-ups. Digitalisation and decarbonisation are expected to remaining compelling post-pandemic themes, but these mega trends are playing out against a backdrop of high valuations, huge amounts of dry powder, and the prospect of rising interest rates and creeping inflation.

    • How are macro conditions impacting private markets?
    • What represents a defensive investment in the current environment?
    • How aggressively should GPs pursue new strategies and fund types?
    • What does an abundance of capital mean for the industry?
  • 12:00

    Australia private markets: Riding the wave

    Australian GPs have rebounded strongly from COVID-19. Over the past 12 months, deal flow has been plentiful, IPOs have been possible, albeit selectively, and sponsor-to-sponsor sales have been on the rise. But the outlook remains uncertain. There is increasing disquiet about high valuations and sellers’ expectations, while labour shortages and rising supply chain costs are lingering concerns, and managers are mindful of how changing consumer habits are impacting business models. Robust operational strategies are required.

    • In which sectors does growth justify lofty valuations?
    • How are GPs stress-testing portfolio companies?
    • Will there be more special situations opportunities?
    • What will be the defining market issues over the next two years?
  • 12:45

    Networking lunch

  • 13:45

    ESG Hard talk: Transitioning portfolios to net zero emissions

    As the signs of global warming become increasingly clear, there is also growing awareness amongst the private equity community that climate change is a key risk to long-term investment performance and ongoing investor appetite for their fund. In the pursuit of net zero, GPs will need to review their current portfolio to evaluate risk, adopt technology to track and monitor carbon emissions and implement a strategy to seize the opportunity for decarbonisation. In this session a panel of experts will share the roadmap to net zero and how forward-thinking investors can gain a competitive edge.

    • How has the conversation between GP and LPs on decarbonisation evolved, and what questions should GPs expect in the future?
    • How do you incorporate climate into your wider ESG program?
    • How do you ensure accuracy of data and avoid greenwashing?
    • How can alternative investment community help drive decarbonisation across industries?
    • What role should technology play in integration, monitoring and reporting?
  • 14:30

    Data presentation

  • 15:15

    Networking break

  • 15:45

    Flexing the definition: Where PE meets infra

    There is a well-trodden path in Australia from private equity to core-plus infrastructure to traditional infrastructure. It involves de-risking assets with infrastructure-like characteristics but challenging operating scenarios and selling them on at a premium. However, with returns on infrastructure getting bid down, managers are stretching the definition of core-plus. It creates more demand for certain PE-owned businesses, but these managers might be taking on assets that require a hands-on approach to which they are not accustomed.

    • What makes a core-plus investor comfortable with a services business?
    • How is technology changing the categorisation of infrastructure?
    • What is the LP response to private equity and infrastructure overlap?
    • Would an interest rate increase fundamentally change the landscape?
  • 16:30

    Investor spotlight: The rise of private wealth

    Australia’s wholesale investor segment, which captures a broad swath of family offices and high net worth individuals, represents an intriguing target for private equity. Access to these investors has been facilitated by the emergence of domestic wealth management platforms, global firms releasing more versatile products, and a proliferation of technology solutions that make it easier to aggregate commitments within solid fiduciary structures. However, the ‘democratisation’ of the asset class presents challenges as well as opportunities.

    • Which sectors and strategies are most appealing to these investors?
    • Have structural concerns in areas like capital calls been addressed?
    • Is more M&A inevitable in the wealth management platform space?
    • Why should well-supported GPs want to diversify their LP bases in this way?
  • 17:30

    Close of conference Day 1

  • 18:00

    AVCJ Gala Dinner – in partnership with Australian Investment Council

    Bringing together industry leaders and business stakeholders, in partnership with Australian Investment Council will see more than 400 people take part in this major private capital industry gathering.

    Sponsored by

  • 09:00

    Private debt: Recalibrating for change

    The pandemic brought a pressing need for liquidity, and though government support has staved off distress situations, demand for private credit solutions remains strong. A key driver, especially in markets like Australia, is the ongoing withdrawal of banks from traditional lending. At the same time, macroeconomic factors are contributing to a more complex operating environment – inflation, interest rates, and high valuations loom large in the minds of investors as they position themselves for the next cycle.

    • Which private debt strategies offer the best opportunities in 2022?
    • How long before distressed credit returns to the agenda?
    • What are the advantages of targeting credit as a multi-strategy manager?
    • What are the main obstacles to increased credit penetration in Asia?
  • 09:45

    Asia reloaded: Opportunity amid adversity

    Pandemic-related disruptions – still major considerations in certain places – have accentuated an existing bifurcation in fundraising fortunes in Asia. Meanwhile, a flurry of regulatory activity in China caused a crisis of confidence, prompting some LPs to put commitments on hold. Fundraising aside, Asia has been abuzz with activity. Investment reached record highs across all major markets in 2021 and exits rebounded strongly from COVID-19. The lingering question is how best to tap into the growth story.

    • Is Asia still distinct from global markets in terms of effective investment styles?
    • What have LPs done to address their China concerns?
    • How are approaches to value creation evolving at the country manager level?
    • Which markets and strategies offer the most potential in 2022?
  • 10:30

    Venture capital: The boom continues

    Early and growth-stage technology investment in Australia reached USD 3.9bn in 2021, more than twice the previous year’s total according to AVCJ Research. Growth-stage activity alone increased fourfold, in part reflecting an influx of global technology investors. Increased competition from overseas is changing the local industry dynamics. Managers are pushing into earlier funding rounds in search of additional alpha, which means upward pressure on valuations is all-pervasive and start-ups are being asked to deliver on aggressive growth plans.

    • Is the recent escalation in valuations sustainable?
    • How are local VCs differentiating their approaches to deal sourcing?
    • To what extent are global GPs collaborating with their Australian peers?
    • When and how will the local unicorns find exits?
  • 11:15

    Networking Break

  • 11:40

    Technology investing: Taking centre stage

    Technology in Australia and New Zealand is no longer restricted to early-stage venture capital investors. Enterprise services has pushed into the local mainstream, justifying sector specialist strategies and adding flavour to generalist funds. A trickle of exits on the VC side is also drawing in more global investors looking to participate in growth rounds. Factor in a flight to the cloud that has only been accelerated by COVID-19 and it makes for a compelling opportunity.

    • Which sub-sectors will see the most growth in coming years?
    • Are valuations linked to revenue rather than profit becoming unsustainable?
    • What are the most common pain points when pursuing global growth?
    • How do GPs position themselves to execute value creation strategies?
  • 12:25

    LP viewpoint: Evolving approaches to private markets

    Shortened fundraising cycles, elevated valuations, a surge in continuation funds, and the rise of the multi-strategy manager – these are just some of the issues confronting LPs globally against a backdrop of economic uncertainty. In Australia specifically, there are additional complications for the superannuation system, notably M&A and evolving performance assessment criteria. Amid the noise, some basic priorities remain unchanged when fine-tuning approaches to private markets exposure: finding the right partners and developing the right internal competencies.

    • What are the key challenges in manager selection and portfolio balancing?
    • How are LPs thinking ahead in terms of team size and skills?
    • What are the best ways to source and manage co-investments?
    • Have views on geographic and sector specialists changed post-pandemic?

  • 13:10

    Networking lunch and close of conference