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.