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PE Secondaries: Tight Discounts, Plenty of Dry Powder

April 12, 2013

PalicoLogoThere were some interesting points made in a blog on the Palico site earlier this week. Based on the Palico’s data, the average discount to net asset value for top bids on LP stakes has hovered around 10% since 2010. That echoes some of the findings in a recent Preqin study about which I blogged earlier. It also reflects a general view prevalent among professionals at some of the largest PE secondary funds with whom I’ve spoken over the last year or so.

However, my personal experience negotiating secondary transactions over the last twelve months has suggested that discounts for fund stakes are actually still all over the map, and depend a great deal on the situational specifics related to any given sale. Read more…

Preqin: Investors Optimistic About Secondary Market

March 26, 2013

PreqinLogo3Clearly, I have a bias. Nevertheless, I’m always surprised at how many VCs still dismiss secondary investing – of any type relating to private equity – as some sort of faddish or fringe activity. Not long ago, one well-meaning VC took me aside at a conference and cautioned me about the secondary market. “Jim,” he said, “be careful – the rumor is that even LP secondaries are drying up. Discounts are gone, and the buyers are losing interest.”

Well, not according to the industry data. And certainly not according to the institutional investors interviewed in Preqin’s latest report on private equity secondaries. Read more…

Officially Launching Second Alpha Partners

March 5, 2013

SecondAlphaBWWell, we’re making it official. Rich Brekka and I have launched a new investment firm, Second Alpha Partners.  You can find more details in the official press release.

As some of you know, Rich and I have been working on an idea for a new type of private equity firm focused on secondary investments for some time. We put a great deal of thought into exactly what type of firm we wanted to create. Read more…

Three Crazy Data Points from Apple’s Crazy Week

January 26, 2013

NewBlackAppleLogoIn less than a decade, Apple has transformed itself from tech also-ran to tech bellwether to tech juggernaut. The evolution has been breathtaking and the journey epic.

So epic, in fact, that everyone knows the story by now. And the 24-hour news cycle – like public market sentiment – eventually tires even of big stories.

I have to wonder if this state of affairs, a kind of investor ADHD, is starting to affect Apple. Read more…

SurveyMonkey All but Killed the Tech IPO Last Week

January 25, 2013


When it’s finally written, the death certificate will likely read “killed by a thousand cuts,” and many tech superstars will be implicated in the deed. Names like Zuckerberg, Mason and Vieau will no doubt top the list of suspects, even though others — heavy-handed regulators, greedy bankers, wily hedge fund managers, litigious shareholder activists – all played prominent parts in this killing.

Still, I think that the American tech IPO might have received its most unexpected blow – and a big one at that – from a monkey. A SurveyMonkey, to be exact. Read more…

Infocapitalist Blog Post 1.0: A New Hope

January 22, 2013

It’s been some time since my last contribution to the blogosphere. Blogging, when taken seriously, requires commitment. And my dance card’s been pretty full of late.

But for participants in the intensely social ecosystem that surrounds innovation, blogs provide an astonishingly scalable and immediate means of sharing ideas. In terms of outreach, the medium has many advantages. Read more…