The fifth edition of The Private Equity Review comes on the heels of a solid but at times uneven 2015 for private equity. Deal activity and fundraising were strong in North America, Europe and Asia, but the year ended with uncertainty in the face of declining growth in China, Brazil and other developing and emerging markets, increased volatility in commodity, stock, currency and other financial markets, and deflation concerns in developed countries. Nevertheless, we expect private equity will continue to play an important role in global financial markets, not only in North America and western Europe, but also in developing and emerging markets in Asia, South America, the Middle East and Africa. As large global private equity powerhouses extend their reach into new markets, home-grown private equity firms, many of whose principals learned the business working for those industry leaders, have sprung up in many jurisdictions to compete using their local know-how.
As the industry continues to become more geographically diverse, private equity professionals need guidance from local practitioners about how to raise money and close deals in multiple jurisdictions. This review has been prepared with this need in mind. It contains contributions from leading private equity practitioners in 29 different countries, with observations and advice on private equity deal-making and fundraising in their respective jurisdictions.
While no one can predict exactly how private equity will fare in 2016, it can confidently be said that it will continue to play an important role in the global economy. Private equity by its very nature continually seeks out new, profitable investment opportunities, so its further expansion into growing emerging markets is also inevitable. It remains to be seen how local markets and policymakers respond.