Standard Life Private Equity gets new lead manager

Standard Life Private Equity gets new lead manager – the board of directors has agreed with the manager to some changes in the investment team looking after this trust. Alan Gauld will become the lead manager with immediate effect. Alan has been part of the team responsible for the company since 2017. He has been a member of the private equity team at the manager for the last 10 years and, in that time, has worked across numerous fund investments, both primary and secondary, as well as co-investments. Alan will be supported by Patrick Knechtli and Mark Nicolson, respectively head of secondaries (investing in existing funds) and head of primaries (investing in new funds) at Aberdeen Standard Investments. The previous lead manager, Merrick McKay, has taken on a wider role within Aberdeen Standard Investments as head of European private equity.

The announcement coincides with the publication of the trust’s results for the year ended 30 September 2019. Over this period, the NAV total return was 10.5%. This compares to a return to shareholders of 5.7% (as the discount widened) and a return on the UK market of 2.7%. The dividend was upped to 12.8p from 12.4p.

During the year, the company made commitments totalling GBP188.0m (2018: GBP117.0m) into its unquoted portfolio. Funds were committed to eight new primary investments, three secondaries and the company’s first co-investment (the realisation of an initiative that we covered in our note published in May 2019). The company received GBP138.1m of realisations and associated income in the year (2018: GBP128.1m). The realised return from the ongoing investment operations of the core portfolio equated to 2.2 times cost (2018: 2.9 times cost). Outstanding commitments at the year end amounted to GBP450.3m (2018: GBP369.3m).

Extract from the manager’s report

The increase in value of the unquoted portfolio on a per share basis was 47.0p. This was made up of net unrealised gains at constant FX (foreign exchange) of 43.0p, net realised gains and income of 6.9p and net unrealised FX losses of 2.9p.

Notable contributors to the unrealised gains included 3i Eurofund V, Permira V and Advent GPE VIII which together accounted for 21.6p of the NAV increase. Action, as the Company’s single largest underlying company at 7.7% of NAV, continued to grow strongly in the year and was a key contributor to unrealised gains in the period via 3i Eurofund V. Conversely, at a fund level, unrealised value decreases were seen at Equistone V and Montagu IV, which together contributed to a NAV reduction of 7.1p.

Material contributors to realised gains were CVC V, Permira V, IK VII, Equistone IV and Montagu IV, which together accounted for 22.6p of the NAV increase, where companies such as Transnorm, Nemera, Parex and TeamViewer were fully or partially sold for strong returns above prior carrying values. Realised losses amounted to a NAV reduction of 4.8p.”

SLPE : Standard Life Private Equity gets new lead manager

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