SuperReturn International, the world’s premier conference on private equity funding, returned for another four days full of informative workshops from February 27 through March 2. More than 2,000 attendees gathered to hear 400-plus speakers discuss economic and geopolitical issues, innovation and disruption in markets, and to learn about technology as it relates to the private equity sector.
The annual conference boasts more speakers who are PE founders, CEOs, chairmen, and global heads than any other private equity conference in the world. Sixteen of them shared their knowledge at the conference, including William E. Ford, CEO of General Atlantic; Lynn Nguyen, Managing Director, Investment Funds Portfolio at Overseas Private Investment Corporation; and David Rubenstein, Co-Founder & Co-CEO of The Carlyle Group.
Ford joined Mike Arougheti of Credit Group, Ares; Jan Stahlberg of EQT AB; and Jason Kelly of Bloomberg LP in a panel discussion entitled “State of the Union: ‘The New World Order.’” The panelists discussed how volatility in the global geopolitical and economic environment could affect alternative investment strategies over the next year.
Nguyen spoke on the sectors, opportunity sets, exit expectations, and growth drivers that present the best investment opportunities. She was joined by Nicolas Schellenbeg of Cambridge Associates, David Creighton of Cordiant Capital, Julien Kinic of IDI Emerging Markets, and Keane Yarish of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
David Rubenstein delivered the March 1 keynote address about a topic that’s on many investors’ minds—how Trump policies will affect the global economy and the private equity world. He also participated in a panel on hot issues in the sector.
Back by popular demand, Zanny Minton Beddoes, Editor-In-Chief of The Economist and one of Forbes’ 100 Most Powerful Women, gave a macroeconomic update and discussed the global political implications of Brexit, China’s falling (and famously volatile) domestic equity markets, and the U.S. elections.
Other SuperReturn International events included a German private equity summit; workshops on succession planning, allocation plans, and generating high returns in the secondaries market; and a series of talks on mid-market investment.
The conference presented an opportunity to see the bigger picture by getting fresh perspectives from outside the PE world. Economists, ethical hackers, tech experts, academics, motivational speakers, and law enforcement officers provided insights on what is happening in their fields and how that could be applied to the private equity industry.
All in all, SuperReturn International provided a tremendous amount of information on an array of topics in the private equity sector. Participants are likely going to spend a great deal of time reviewing their notes and discussing their investment priorities in this economically and politically volatile time.