Sustainability gets a high-five from Fink

BlackRock’s Fink gives a shoutout to ESG; PEI survey, focus on GP-led possibilities; PPP is fully tapped.

BlackRock: The firm had one of the best quarters for fundraising in illiquid alternatives ever this quarter, with chief Larry Fink saying the firm is “actually having deeper, longer and broader dialogues” with investors than ever before, as covered by sister title Private Equity International. Connor Hussey reports that Fink also pointed to the strong performance of its sustainable investments. That is heartening, given the debate in PE still raging as to whether environmental, social and governance actually adds value for investors in its own right. I would love to know if the crisis is having any impact on the way GPs are thinking about ESG investment, so give me a shout if you have any thoughts. Fink pointed to sustainable exchange traded funds, but not anything private market related. I would guess that quite a few renewable energy assets are looking fine and dandy compared to the absolute horror show that is oil and gas these past two quarters.

Survey: Another takeaway from Private Equity International‘s survey of 120 managers and 80 institutional investors, polled in March, as the pandemic intensified, here. This time, we look at the responses from GPs on whether they expect to try the secondaries market to give their portfolios more time. Adam Le reports, and provides some interesting context and insight.

PPP: The $350 billion Paycheck Protection Program has run out of money already, and plans to push additional funds through have failed to date (this report, from the Wall Street Journal – paywall). There are still no actionable plans to expand the program to include those PE-backed companies that can’t access it because of Small Business Administration rules, and I’d think it a narrow chance a viable one will surface. Lawmakers can’t come into agreement even on the additional funding under current rules, let alone one that would propose to include a controversial contingent.

Email prepared by Graham Bippart