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Private Equity - off the boil for now Back  
Private equity - offering high net worth investors the opportunity to avail of special situation investment opportunities - opportunities not available to the general public, and thus inherently attractive to those subscribing to the theory of assymetric market opportunity, has gone off the boil since the spring of 2007. Its time will come again though.
Brian Weber, executive director and head of the Dublin office of Citigroup Quilter says their private equity ‘lists of funds constantly changes, by way of example we sold all of our private equity holdings early last year and switched into agricultural commodity funds. We believe it is still too early to return to the private equity space, but we are keeping a keen eye on it.’

Shane Gill, associate director at Key Capital Private, says, ‘The premier funds are often accessible only to investors able to make commitments of €10 million in each fund, so creating a diversified portfolio of around ten private equity funds would require a commitment of around €100 million. Instead, investors need to focus on getting diversified exposure to the best performing managers. For most investors, the most effective solution will be to use a fund of funds, a vehicle whose popularity has grown rapidly, particularly during the last five years. The wide variation in private equity returns between top quartile and median managers is the main driver for investors to use a fund of funds in order to get diversified exposure to the top performing funds.’

Peter Howe, head of trading at Helvetia Wealth, says that with the market in ‘a definite bear cycle’ and with the nature of private equity’s reliance on credit the private equity play is gone for the duration of the current market conditions. Howe does see private equity returning in the future.

- Key Capital Private offers clients funds of private equity fund, including its Diamond III private equity firm, which will invest in approximately 40 funds holding direct private equity investments.
- Helvetia Wealth AG offers a range of private equity fund products to investors
- AIB Private Banking offers a fund of funds private equity product with a pan-European focus on an execution-only basis.
- Merrion Capital offers Private Equity investments on an advisory basis
- Barclays Wealth London offers in house funds, third party, ishares (the brand name for ETFs structured by Barclays Global Investors)
- Merrill Lynch offers diverse and carefully selected opportunities through single-manager trusts and fund of funds on an advisory and discretionary basis
- Citigroup Quilter will offer discretionary and advisory portfolios in private equity funds in the future
- Investec offers proprietary private equity investments
- Davy Private Clients offers discretionary and advisory services in private equity
- Bank of Ireland Private Bank has been equity raising for US private equity infrastructure fund over recent months.

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