Debtwire Direct Lending Forum 2022

The Debtwire Direct Lending Forum returns in-person to London!

The Biltmore Mayfair, London and Online



Registration and Networking Lunch


Welcome Address

Maryna Irkliyenko
Maryna Irkliyenko Editor, Debtwire
13:15 - 13:35

Keynote: Connecting securities - energy, environment, peace - and credit; the new geopolitics and investment horizon

The war in Ukraine, the commitment to implement COP26, net zero targets in government and business, pressure on household budgets around the world and in some cases brute poverty and famine; all these elements interrelate and challenge financial markets in ways that are hard to fathom. Some fundamentals remain but fresh, imaginative and critical thinking is required to see a pathway ahead. Properly assessing risk and finding opportunity are both fundamentals and context for reimagining the business of credit. Ultimately we need to innovate and not just in technology but in the way we organise, use and direct  our resources to problem solving where the risk of failure is severe for all our societies.

13:35 - 14:30

Panel: Direct Lending Market – market outlook in the changing world

While direct lenders have escaped the pandemic relatively unscratched, they are now facing a new, possibly first real market test. Supply chain shortages, raw materials and energy price increase combined with rising inflation and interest rates create an unfavourable environment for deal making. The panellists will discuss how they are navigating those challenges, what portfolio work they are doing and how they approach potential investments amid new reality.   

  • How much does the geopolitical crisis and macroeconomic instability affect deal making and deal flow at present?
  • How well equipped are debt funds to weather this storm? Are you expecting this to be the first market test for debt funds to stand? 
  • Looking at the glass half full, the private nature of direct lending allows flexibility to finance buyouts at times of uncertainty, when bank financing is stranded. How much has private credit benefitted from market volatility so far? While banks are cautious to underwrite at times like these, is there a limit to how much risk debt funds can take?
  • How has the LP rhetoric change regarding financing and investing in European LBOs amid the geopolitical crisis? How much has the current credit portfolio been affected and what could be/have been done to mitigate risks?  
  • Should the storm die down, do you expect private credit to further challenge the dominance of the syndicated market for larger financings? Do you expect to see multi-billion unitranche deals?
  • What does the future hold – what’s your approach to investment now, has it changed in any way and where do you see the next opportunity for growth?
14:30 - 14:40

Fireside chat/Presentation – EU Debt Data Presentation

Ben Watson
Ben Watson Head of LCM Insights, Debtwire
14:40 - 15:00

Networking coffee break

15:00 - 15:40

Panel: Is NAV-based financing the next big opportunity within private credit

NAV lending has seen a huge uptick in business as sponsors were on the hunt for cash to shore up their portfolios during the coronavirus pandemic. But as the market starts to recover from lockdowns, the lending model keeps getting increasingly popular with PE borrowers, while other lenders are also eyeing the space. The panelists will discuss the advantages of NAV-based lending, what makes it lucrative and what’s the outlook for the lending model?

    Where does the demand for NAV financing come from? What kind of funds usually seek NAV financing and why?

    What makes NAV loans an appealing option for private equity funds and institutional investors compared to other credit instruments?

    How much demand versus supply is there for NAV financing?

    How does NAV financing compare to direct lending and senior secured loans in terms of risk returns?

    What is the competitive landscape of lenders offering NAV loans? Have there been new entrants? Would direct lenders and banks look to add NAV lending to their proposition?

    What’s the outlook for NAV financing in the next three-to five years?

15:40 - 16:20

Fireside chat: Fund Structures and Gibraltar’s Fund Renaissance

The fund market is constantly evolving as demonstrated by the recent changes to fund law over the past two years, including the new Irish Limited Partnership, the UK’s new qualifying asset holding company regime, Luxembourg’s new Securitisation Vehicle regime and the AIFMD 2 proposals. Diala Minott, a Partner at Paul Hastings (Europe) LLP will give a presentation on how these changes impact fund structures and what managers should be aware of as the practical implications become clearer.

Diala will then be joined by James Lasry, Partner and Head of Funds at Hassans International Law Firm to discuss Gibraltar’s new dual funds regime, making the jurisdiction appealing for a number of funds. As key players in the drafting and implementation of the New Limited Partnership Law, in conjunction with the Government of Gibraltar the pair will do a deep-dive Q&A on the regime, how it works and how funds, particularly crypto funds, can use the regime effectively.

16:20 - 17:00

Panel: The impact of ESG on credit capital deployment

ESG is starting to have a profound effect on financial industry in Europe and beyond. How established is the ESG financing in private credit? As the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation pushes Europe's reporting agenda to the fore how are financiers responding and adapting? What’s next in the evolution of ESG-linked credits – further expansion and consolidation or will it remain a footnote in the terms? 

  • What are the risks and opportunities of ESG-linked credits? How widespread ESG practise is and what is the targeted level/plan going forward? 
  • Which aspects of EU-based sustainability reporting support / hamper credit capital deployment? 
  • ESG margins ratchets are the go-to tool for credit investors. How well does it work and is this the way forward for responsible investment?  
  • Which of the ESG components – environmental, social or governance – tend to be more challenging for the companies to achieve their KPIs on? 

Conference end


Direct Lending Awards ceremony with drinks reception

Award categories:

  1. Most active European large-cap direct lending manager
  2. Most active European mid-market direct lending manager
  3. Best European large-cap direct lending fund
  4. Best European mid-market direct lending fund