Sign up for our monthly newsletter and receive fresh thinking on private markets.
Previous Editions of Portico Perspectives
Take a look through our archive:
The Winner-Take-Most World
KKR said it collected $1.4B in management fees last year. It seems like a waste of money, doesn’t it? Also: The Caesars Palace Coup; GSMA’s Mobile Money Metrics; The Abraaj Fiasco; Persistence of PE / VC Performance; Matthew C. Klein and Michael Pettis’s Trade Wars Are Class Wars.
The Boring Twenties? | Apr 2021
Everybody’s expecting it to be the Roaring Twenties. But what if the Roaring decade already happened? And you missed it?! Also: Why Tiger Is Going to Eat VC; Great Wall of Capital: Part Deux; Jamie Dimon & Fintech; The Savings Glut of The Rich; The Sauptikaparvan of the Mahābhārata.
A CDO for Secondaries? | Feb / Mar 2021
Is securitized credit a solution for EM secondaries?; PE investments in healthcare; Bain’s global PE report; Governance; Reinhold Niebuhr’s Nature and Destiny of Man.
New Frontiers | Jan 2021
New markets in 2021 and beyond; Investing in frontier & fragile markets; Grab bag; James Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time.
The Decade of Digital Assets | Dec 2020
Three big trends for the decade ahead: the digitization of assets; single-asset, GP-led secondaries; and, new financing structures. Also includes a grab bag of articles on private markets. Peter Thiel’s Zero to One.
Is EM PE Dead? | Sep / Oct 2020
We asked if the industry was dying when Portico launched — there’s no need to ask the question anymore; Asia; “Someplace else”; Josh Lerner on U.S. venture capital; Stash; Cormac McCarthy’s The Road.
Stonks | Jul 2020
(More) thoughts on the tokenization of assets; The Portico Podcast launches; Ludovic Phalippou raises the BS flag on the performance of U.S. private equity funds; the SEC puts out a laundry list of a deficiencies, yet is trying to facilitate retail investment in PE funds; beach reading; David Bromwich’s Politics by Other Means.
Image and Reality | May 2020
Thoughts on the illusion of prosperity amidst economic destruction; Marc Andreessen’s “It’s Time to Build;” Actis discovers people are worries; KKR discovers it owns the wrong things; Barbara Tuchman’s A Distant Mirror.
Questions During Quarantine | Apr 2020
A few things Portico’s pondering at the outset of shelter-in-place, including: EM special situations; (Asset) price stability; Intertwining corporate and national interests; Goodbye globalization; Autarky under anarchy; Thucydides’ History of the Peloponnesian War.
Social Distancing 🦠 | Mar 2020
Let’s all look out for one another. Also, Albert Camus’s The Plague.
Persistence | Jan / Feb 2020
The fine line between stamina and stupidity. Is J.P. Morgan the new IFC? Hony Capital; Bia, Part II; The cost of being too patient; The porticos of Bologna; Arrian’s Campaigns of Alexander.
An Index for EM Private Assets? | Dec 2019
Who wants to build an index fund for EM private markets? Should endowment funds index? The Coller Capital Barometer; Peter Matthiessen’s The Tree Where Man Was Born.
Chasing Profits | Nov 2019
Is the institutionalization of U.S. venture capital leading to less innovation? WeWork + SoftBank; “Value creation” in European buyouts; China; Fund terms; Governance; KKR + Walgreens; Henry Adams’s The Education of Henry Adams.
Active Management | Oct 2019
Does active management pay in emerging markets? Leveraged buyouts, be gone; FX; T.S. Eliot’s “East Coker.”
King Dollar? | Sep 2019
Will the next global reserve currency be digital? Otis and the digitization of real assets; U.S. pensions; Ray Dalio on China; John Gans’s book on the NSC; Thomas Kuhn’s Structure of Scientific Revolutions.
Pressing Pause | Jul 2019
Taking a break after three years in business. Why Africa’s startups will surprise to the upside; ILPA Principles 3.0; Bia (on beer consumption in Vietnam); Food for thought; Beach reading; Vasily Grossman’s Everything Flows.
China | Jun 2019
China’s big and has grown rapidly — so what? The Economist; SoftBank in São Paulo; Grab Bag; Alexis De Tocqueville’s The Ancien Régime and the Revolution.
Trillions | May 2019
Trillions for impact *at scale,* nickels for the mid-market; Governance; Due diligence; Private credit; Bridgewater on diversification; Herbert Butterfield.
Impact Investing | Apr 2019
Everybody’s kicking impact investing while it’s down; Manager Selection (the grand kabuki dance of the asset management industry); Winds of Change at CDC; My Friend Wrote a Book, The Press.
The Great Wall of Capital | Mar 2019
Does it make sense to think of an “EM PE industry” anymore when Asia has subsumed everything?; Очень Плохие Новости; China’s Private Sector; Factfulness; Lucretius’s On the Nature of the Universe.
Expectations v. Reality | Feb 2019
The lunacy of expectations of 3x from EM funds (feat. a look at CalPERS); Liquidity; Sell!; Emoji Compliance; Blackstone Quits Africa; Inspecting the Books; Jan Karski’s Story of a Secret State.
Passages | Jan 2019
Voyages through a vanished world with a newborn; Profit from Purpose; Deals!; Tough Crowd; Risky Business; GP Stakes; Patrick Leigh Fermor’s Between the Woods and Water.
Illusions and Delusions | Nov 2018
Reflections on the gap between image and reality; 401(k)s — The Final Frontier; Future Fund; Norway on Governance; Social Capital; George Steiner’s Nostalgia for the Absolute.
Liquefaction | Oct 2018
Amidst global political instability, the most valuable attribute in EM PE going forward is a flexible mandate; Herd Behavior; KYC; Add-Backs; Short-Termism; Impact Investing; Adda Bozeman’s Politics and Culture in International History.
The Work | Sep 2018
Year three begins; Advent + Walmart Brazil; African PE: Quo vadis?; Creador + Goldman Sachs on Asia; Mr. China Meets the Mekong; A Most Damning Indictment; Homer’s The Odyssey.
An Extractive Industry | Jul 2018
The Toys “R” Us bankruptcy kicks off a jeremiad on LBOs; Raising a Fund; Abraaj: Redux; Small Is Beautiful in CEE; Insomnolent in India; Turkey: Value Trap?; John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath.
The Wealth of Nations | Jun 2018
A walking safari in Tanzania prompts the question: who’s wealthier, a Maasai elder or your average American; Mekong; LP-GP Fit; The Perils of Business Travel; Sharing Is Caring; Michael Pettis’s The Volatility Machine.
Questions of Leadership | May 2018
A comment from Nicolas Rohatyn prompts some reflection; Crises of Governance; Managers not Markets; Sustainability Now; DFIs and the Mid-Market; Thucydides’ History of the Peloponnesian War.
Transparency and Governance | Apr 2018
A reflection on the most underappreciated necessity; Abraaj: Fin?; Norway: Part Deux; Bain & Co.; Grab Bag; The Dhammapada.
The White Stripe | Mar 2018
One small step forward in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu; Abraaj: Part Deux; EM Fundraising: Coming Full Circle?; Private Equity: Overvalued and Overrated? (Dan Rasmussen on U.S. buyouts); Persistence in Private Equity; Tao Te Ching.
Veritas | Feb 2018
The manufacture of social capital; Abraaj; Private Debt in Africa; Always Low Prices (Walmart in Brazil); Currency Risk in Emerging Markets; John Kenneth Galbraith’s A Short History of Financial Euphoria.
Bulls on Parade | Jan 2018
The animal spirits are palpable; Jeremy Grantham; McVey Calls a Secular Bull Market in EM; Norway; Brazil on the Move; Not Interested (on the LP survey from Probitas Partners); Benjamin Franklin’s Autobiography.
Does EM PE Scale? | Dec 2017
Portico’s latest research piece explores why fundraising may need to be slashed by 60% per year; Mea Culpa (on IFC committing to Carlyle funds); KKR Quits Africa (#dealflow); Albright Capital’s “Power of Compounding”; Will Robots Disrupt Private Equity?; Is it Possible to Short Graduate Schools?; The Bible.
Dumb Money | Nov 2017
A colorful comment from an LP prompts the question: is EM PE in cyclical or structural decline; The Great Wall of Capital (on mega-cap funds in Asia); LP Views on Latin America (LAVCA / Cambridge Associates survey); Facebank; Turkey Resurgent?; The True Believer.
Super Sized | Oct 2017
Are distributions from larger funds driving industry consolidation?; Indonesia’s First Startup IPO; SoftBank; (SME) Death and Taxes in India; Heavy Stuff (on lifestyle diseases and PE firms investing “across the lifecycle”); Behind the Beautiful Forevers.
Status Update | Sep 2017
Provides a first-year update on Portico; The Societal Parasite that Is Facebook; Who Will Make Money in EM Venture?; This World Awash in Capital (thoughts on corporations as asset managers, passive investing, scarcity of assets, and U.S. housing as political time bomb); Musashi.
The Mid-Market Squeeze | Jul 2017
Shares findings from Portico’s second study, The Mid-Market Squeeze; Indonesia: So Hot Right Now (from KKR); Coffee Talk (ECP exits Java House to Abraaj, now what?); Will Private Equity Build Africa’s Manufacturing Sector? (No); Beach Reading; A Letter from Thomas Jefferson to John Adams.
More Dickensian by the Day | May 2017
Traveling through Southeast Asia; A Grim LP Survey (from EMPEA); A Platinum Lining? (from KKR); Ahlan, Bimbo! (or, Hispanophone dealmaking in Africa); The Baring Asia-Nord Anglia Saga Continues; Fasionably Late? Blackstone pursues private debt in India; The Ramayana.
First Move | Apr 2017
Deal Flow in Africa; The Gift that Keeps on Giving in Eastern Europe; Consumer Sentiment in Latin America; Carroll Quigley’s Evolution of Civilizations.
Is EM PE Dying? | Nov 2016
Introduces Portico’s first research study on the state of the emerging markets private equity industry.