Aaron Grunwald: When we spoke late last year, you were quite bullish on PE inflows. Is that still the case?
Claus Mansfeldt: Yes. We have seen private equity inflows continuing strongly.
Do you see some sectors and strategies that are booking much higher net inflows than others?
There is growth, from perhaps a lower base, in areas such as venture capital, infrastructure, private debt... and, last but not least, the big theme around ESG is certainly a big factor. I wouldn’t say the sort of pure ESG funds, or responsible investments. They’re not so big in terms of pure plays. But I think what the big effect is coming through here [is] mainstream funds shaping themselves, increasingly, to cater to that theme. That’s probably where it will ultimately have the biggest effect, as well. The ESG consciousness is [being] applied much more aggressively across the vast volume of private equity, as opposed to being a kind of a niche. So money is flowing into the niche, pure plays, but more money is [flowing] into the mainstream that has adopted a certain degree of demonstrable ESG focus.
Do you anticipate a big percentage increase in net inflows into the PE sector, at the end of the year?
Following several years of large inflows, it’s risky to bet on further [rises], but the way things are going--meaning economies are rebounding, stock markets are remaining strong--I think it’s a fairly good guess that inflows will actually increase also this year.
Originally published in Delano’s Private Equity 2021 supplement. Be among the first to read interviews and features in the magazine by subscribing today.