While 2020 was a year of challenges and contradictions in the Asian private equity ("PE") market, it was predicted that 2021 would be a year of improvement. With China being "the first country to lock down and the first to recover", and other regional jurisdictions looking towards the imminent availability of Covid-19 vaccines, at the close of 2020, Walkers Asia Private Equity Survey Report 2020 ("2020 Report") found over 80% of respondents in the region were generally optimistic about the year ahead .
So was the optimism justified? What has changed? And where is the industry now?
For the second year running, Walkers reached out to the PE funds industry in Asia and asked our clients, colleagues at service providers and other related market contacts to share their insights through a short survey.
Over half of the surveyed population consisted of PE fund managers. Lawyers specialising in PE represented one third of respondents, with the remainder of the data coming from industry service providers (such as administrators and investors).
The respondents were based across the Asia Pacific region with the majority based in Hong Kong SAR ("Hong Kong"), and others spread throughout Japan, the People's Republic of China ("PRC") and Singapore. As with the 2020 Report, the data included input from a small number of respondents based in Australia, but this year, we expanded the surveyed population by adding clients and contacts of our Dubai office to add a Middle Eastern perspective to the data set.
This report will focus on the views of PE fund managers and their onshore counsel that assist them in structuring and launching their funds. But just as the PE industry in the region is multi-faceted and diverse, so too is the resultant data. So where appropriate we have tried to identify themes and trends not only across the industry, but across geographical areas, funds sizes and types. The results reveal a mixture of consistency and change over time, and we hope you will find it interesting.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.