Secondaries bring JPMorgan and Campbell Lutyens together; with IPO window shut, PE door may open

JPMorgan and Campbell Lutyens form a new partnership.

Good morning, Hubsters. MK Flynn here with today’s Wire.

We’re covering a range of topics this morning, starting with what may be the beginning of a beautiful friendship between JPMorgan and Campbell Lutyens, who are teaming up to take advantage of the flourishing private equity secondaries market. More below.

Also, I’ve got an interview with a Silicon Valley attorney who shares thoughts on the IPO market – and explains how the demise of SVB has dashed hopes for a comeback of public debuts, but that may be good news for PE firms.

And we’ve got more from our Women’s History Month series.

Best of both worlds
In the latest sign private equity secondaries are hot, JPMorgan and London-based private equity advisory firm Campbell Lutyens announced this morning that they are partnering to jointly advise on single-asset and concentrated multi-asset continuation fund transactions.
The offering will combine JPMorgan’s investment banking services and Campbell Lutyens’ global placement and secondaries advisory platform.

For Campbell Lutyens, “We see this as getting the best of both worlds – preserving our independence and all the things we enjoy about being a smaller firm, but [having] access to a formidable global investment bank and all the benefits that come with that,” CEO Andrew Sealey told Secondaries Investor’s Madeleine Farman.

JPMorgan saw that continuation funds would become a more important alternative exit or reinvesting option for its GP clients during the pandemic, Carsten Woehrn, JPMorgan’s head of financial sponsors M&A for EMEA, told Madeleine.

IPO window still closed
While some people had hoped Spring might awaken the initial public offering market, the drought seems likely to continue in the wake of Silicon Valley Bank’s collapse. To explore the issue further, I turned to Ran Ben-Tzur, co-lead of the capital markets practice area at Fenwick. The Mountain View, California-based law firm advises tech and life sciences companies and published a report on the IPO market earlier this month.

Here’s my interview with Ben-Tzur:

What’s the current state of the IPO market?
The IPO window continues to be closed for technology and life sciences companies. There had been some increased optimism over the past few months of a recovery that would have seen IPO activity start to pick back up starting as early as April or May 2023, with a more fulsome recovery beginning in the second half of 2023 and accelerating in 2024. However, recent volatility in the markets, as a result of the SVB closure and a broader instability in the global banking system, have tampered expectations of a nearer-term IPO market recovery. At this point, I wouldn’t expect to see meaningful IPO activity until, at the earliest, the back half of 2023 or, more likely, 2024.

This is consistent with the expectations of tech and life sciences investors and executives in Fenwick’s 2023 IPO Report, which found that 64 percent of tech and LS investors projected an IPO market rebound in 2024, with some expecting a rebound in activity in the latter part of 2023.

How is SVB’s collapse expected to affect IPO dealflow this year?
It’s still to be seen exactly how the SVB collapse will influence this anticipated timeline for an IPO market rebound, but it’s reasonable to expect many companies considering an IPO, as well as investors, will continue to be cautious in light of current market conditions.
When thinking about company liquidity, the good news is the Fed stepped in and guaranteed all of SVB’s deposits, so the companies who were banking there aren’t really feeling the short-term liquidity issues.

I was never too hopeful there was going to be much of an IPO market this year generally. We started the year on a positive note with a significant rebound in the equity markets and with a number of follow-on equity transactions. Since then, though, we’ve seen more volatility, and now everything with SVB happening – which is bringing a ton of volatility to the market – both up and down – is not conducive to going public. That said, even of the clients who would be considering going public, they weren’t really planning on it in the next couple of weeks, so it may not ultimately have a huge impact on the year’s dealflow.

Are private equity firms benefiting from the current challenges in the IPO market? Are there more buying opportunities?
We are definitely seeing a lot of interest from private equity in technology companies. There have been a number of large take-private deals already announced over the last six months. Private equity could be a good soft-landing spot for a high-growth technology company that is struggling to achieve profitability.

Having said that, there are still challenges to getting deals done, most notably differing valuation expectations and a challenging macro environment, including high interests and significant stock price volatility.

If you’ve got deal news or insights to share on the current state of dealmaking, I’d love to hear from you. Reach out to me at

Gender parity
Throughout March, we’re highlighting women dealmakers. PE Hub Europe’s Nina Lindholm interviewed Julie Gautier, who joined the food and consumer team at Paris-headquartered private equity firm PAI Partners as a principal in 2021.

Understanding that private equity as an industry has an issue in terms of diversity is “half of the battle,” according to Gautier. “Because most of the time, people just don’t notice,” she added.

PAI is aiming to tackle this topic by ensuring it recruits more women. Approximately 50 percent of the firm’s recruits last year were women, according to Gautier. “Whenever you have a recruitment process, you must make sure you include women in the process,” she said. “It sounds stupid when you say it, but most of the time, it’s not done.”

Out of the three portfolio companies Gautier supports at PAI, two have gender parity at board level, and nearly at management level as well. For Gautier, to reach goals like this, one must actively work for it.

“If you don’t ask, it will not happen,” she said.

To read more about women in private equity, see profiles of 10 outstanding dealmakers in Women of PE: Class of 2023.

Women of influence
It’s your last chance to nominate candidates for PEI Group’s third annual Women of Influence in Private Markets list, which recognizes trailblazing women in alternative assets.
The deadline for nominations is tomorrow, Wednesday, March 22.

The list – which will include women from private equity, infrastructure, private debt, real estate and venture capital – will be published in July by Private Equity International, Private Debt Investor, Infrastructure Investor, Venture Capital Journal and PERE.

Click here to learn more.

Tomorrow, Buyouts’ Chris Witkowsky will write the Wednesday Wire, as per usual. And I’ll be back on Thursday.

In the meantime, I’m wishing you happy dealmaking!

Cheers, MK