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EDITOR'S LETTER: Information gap

Funny that during the height of the global financial crisis in 2008, there was a common observation that limited partners’ communication with each other about troublesome funds was not good. Now that most problems have been resolved in funds, guess what? There still are complaints that communication among LPs is, at best, patchy.

Given that the confusion of the crisis can no longer be to blame, the suspicion must be that LPs are not blessed in the art of swapping intelligence in any times, good or bad, or they don’t feel the need. In either scenario, this seems to be an advantage for GPs, especially those pushing the envelope when it comes to issues that sometimes should go challenged. This dynamic is adding to a feeling that perhaps GPs are becoming more powerful than LPs again.

Beginning on page 42, Katherine Bucaccio discovers that, if there is a communication vacuum, it is not always a daring LP that steps in to arrest a bad decision or to confront a fund manager that seems to be dodging a question. Instead, it might be an advisor or consultant doing more than perhaps their job warrants.

Apart from how advisors are bridging the information gap, this issue of PERE carries reports on other aspects of the advisors’ world. Hong Kong-based reporter Michelle Phillips examines how advisors are providing a bridge between investors and operating partners in sealing partnerships in places like China (see page 48). Meanwhile, in Europe, PERE speaks with Deloitte, the accountancy firm that has emerged as probably the busiest sell-side advisor to banks, government and financial institutions when it comes to non-core loan portfolios (see page 39).
And that’s not all. Wouldn’t it be nice if someone came up with bespoke analysis for investors that could tell them exactly whether to invest in Milan or Dallas? Well, DTZ believes it has the answer. To discover more, see Jonathan Brasse’s report, starting on page 45.

Speaking of investors and communication, though, one man that doesn’t actually need any lesson in the art of communication is Bill Tresham, head of global real estate at Canada’s Ivanhoe Cambridge. In his inimitable style, he spoke to PERE’s Evelyn Lee about how the company sees itself as an investor in businesses. You can read all about its strategy – including its love for funds, as well as direct investing – from page 32 onwards.

Lastly, if I may just add one extra note: In London this month, PERE is hosting its 10th annual Europe Summit, where past chairmen take to the stage to offer their perspective on how the industry has changed. I would urge you to be there if you can.

Enjoy the issue and good luck,

Robin Marriott
Editor, PERE