Private Equity: an Interview with Claire Roborel de Climens
Private Equity (PE) has been a well performing asset class over the last decades through a combination of return-driven management and value creation strategy. However, access to the best performing funds is often limited to very large institutional investors. In that context, BNP Paribas Wealth Management (WM) has designed innovative options to allow eligible private clients to access these highly sought-after investment opportunities.
Claire Roborel de Climens, BNP Paribas Wealth Management’s Head of Private and Alternative Investments, leads our efforts toward opening these exclusive opportunities to our clients. She has therefore been recently representing BNP Paribas Wealth Management in a panel of French private banks, discussing the future of PE at a one of the most prominent conferences on capital investing in France organized by France Invest (Private Equity professional association in France comprised of nearly 500 members).
We had the chance to meet-up with Claire and get an overview of the topics discussed at this panel.
Since the outset of this program that BNP Paribas Wealth Management pioneered in 1998, we have had to adapt to the regulatory environment, especially the AIFM Directive in 2014 that is applied across Europe and thus is especially affecting our clients in France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Spain, Germany and Italy for their investments in PE. This regulation has limited the reach of certain offers to only professional clients.
We have thus innovated, leveraging instruments more widely available to all our clients like Life Insurance in France, in collaboration with Cardif, or dedicated funds like the Luxembourg-based European Long Term Investment Fund (ELTIF) where we are partnered with Blackrock. We are the first private bank in France to launch this type of product.
At the core, being one of the largest and most solid banks in the world, we have privileged relationship and continuous dialog with the best performing asset managers and we are thus able to secure an exclusive access to their capital raise for our clients on a mutualized basis.
The open architecture characteristics of these products imply a very rigorous selection process. What are the key criteria for selection?
We work with well-established funds with a long and proven track record. We are very rigorous in the selection of our partners. In particular, we pay a lot of attention and have strict criteria in terms of due diligence, team credentials and investment strategies.
Private Equity (PE) is an asset class that is used as a diversification mechanism in an investment portfolio. PE represents usually 5 to 10 % of an asset allocation, and up to 30 to 40% for Family Offices.
With this clear strategy of highly selective choice of PE managers, we expect to continue to deliver on our clients’ return expectations, in particular in this current global uncertain macro environment..
What are the current investment themes ad strategies that are driving performance today?
We believe in diversification as a key feature of our client’s investment strategy. Therefore we construct balanced PE portfolios in terms of geographies, strategies, managers and vintages. Nevertheless, we strongly believe that the two key themes, requested by our clients, for the years to come are Technology and Impact.
Technology has a very disruptive impact on all sectors across the board, and the companies that onboard new technologies in their business models will be well positioned to take advantage of the upcoming markets disruptions. We are ready to launch a global fund focused on Tech and Healthcare themes with one of the most prestigious international PE firms.
Similarly, society is evolving fast and there is a clear change in the consumers – and investors –mindsets. Companies are adapting fast to a world that demands more inclusion, more consciousness of the need to preserve the planet, more positive impact on social and environmental challenges.
As a pioneer, we have successfully proposed a global Impact PE fund to our clients, delivering both positive impact on society and a PE-like financial return.
Claire, what kind of clients can benefit from access to these unlisted investments? What are the vehicles for this kind of investment?