I’m a few hours south of the home base this morning, to moderate a panel at the Yale SOM Private Equity Conference. This is another way of saying that posting will be light, as the WiFi is spotty and there actually are some talks I’m interested in listening to (which is inccreasingly rare at industry events).
My panel is on growth equity, with investors from Spectrum Equity, Catterton Partners, General Atlantic and TA Associates. Hoping they all show (morning keynote Josh Beckenstein of Bain Capital has yet to arrive, due to plane troubles in Boston). Good topic, good participants.
Outside of the panel, my goal is to talk with folks about disintermediation — particularly in the lower and middle-markets. In other words, could PE firms stop relying on banks for leverage? Not completely, of course, but for certain deals?
Certain firms have had sub-debt funds for seemingly ever, but we’ve also got a new trend emerging. KKR underwriting a share sale, more firms raising “credit opportunities” funds to pick up leveraged loans and that whole matter of TPG, Flowers, Cerberus and others bidding to acquire Merrill Lynch’s mid-market lending group.
Anyway, enough rambling. Time to sit down and listen…