Most apparently sound stewards of capital were revealed to be anything but during the 2007-09 financial crisis. Bank bosses were shown to have taken on too much risk. Star hedge-fund managers suffered losses. Nor have the years since then been kind. Banks have been tied up in regulatory knots and returns at hedge funds have been pedestrian at best.

在2007年至2009年的金融危機期間,看似最精明的資本管家原來什么都不是,銀行老板承擔太大風險,對沖基金的明星經理人損失慘重,自那以后日子沒再好過。讓銀行受到監管成為當務之急,對沖基金充其量收益平平。


Now another savage recession is in full swing and the performance of pe is a crucial question for investors and the economy. The leveraged companies and debt instruments in pe portfolios are vulnerable and much depends on whether managers can tide these investments over. Meanwhile they have amassed $1.6trn in dry powder that they can deploy on new deals. pe shops’ fate depends on whether the hit to their existing investments is nasty enough to wipe out the potential gains from dealmaking afforded by the crisis.

現在又一波經濟衰退全面來襲,對于投資者和經濟而言,私募股權企業的業績是關鍵。私募股權投資組合中的杠桿企業和債務工具都很脆弱,很大程度上取決于基金經理能否幫助這些投資度過難關。與此同時,私募股權企業手握1.6萬億美元可用于新交易的“干火藥”。私募股權企業的命運取決于現有投資遭受的沖擊有多嚴重,是否足以抵消危機帶來的潛在交易收益。

Start with the potential losses. In the first quarter of 2020 the four large listed pe firms, Apollo, Blackstone, Carlyle and kkr, reported paper losses on their portfolios of $90bn. That sounds big, but is just 7% of their assets under management, reflecting their ability to control how privately held assets are valued and, perhaps, their investment acumen. After an early scare pe firms’ shareholders have concluded that the outlook is fairly bright (see chart).

首先來看潛在虧損。在2020年第一個季度,四大私募股權公司阿波羅、黑石、凱雷、KKR公布的投資組合賬面虧損達900億美元。聽上去是個巨額數字,但僅占管理資產的7%,反映出它們能夠控制私有資產的估值,或許還反映出投資智慧。在經歷了最初的恐慌后,私募股權企業的股東們認為前景相當光明。



Even so, several other factors may have changed to work in pe’s favour. Much debt issued to back pe deals has become “covenant-light”, meaning that companies can endure a big slump in profits without triggering penalties from their lenders. Since the 2007-09 crisis many pe managers have also set up huge credit arms—for the big four firms, these now account for a third of their assets. They may give managers more in-house expertise and mechanisms for raising debt, making it easier to restructure the debts of fragile portfolio companies on favourable terms.

即便如此,其他幾個因素已出現有利于私募股權投資的變化。用于支持私募股權交易而發行的大量債務已成為“契約亮點”,這意味著企業能承受利潤大幅下滑,不會遭到貸款機構的懲罰。自2007年至2009年金融危機以來,許多私募基金經理還建立了龐大的信貸部門,在四大私募股權公司的資產中占三分之一。這些部門可能為投資經理提供更多的自有專長和舉債機制,以便于對脆弱的投資組合公司的債務進行有利重組。



Bailing out existing investments will drag down returns for pe shops. It remains to be seen if buying opportunities can make up for that. Most pe managers hope to use their newly expanded credit arms to scoop up bombed-out loans and bonds with collapsed prices—Leon Black, the founder of Apollo, has said the opportunity is “massive”. But the volume of traditional buy-outs dropped sharply in March, and only a few firms have since made purchases. For years pe barons have boasted of their huge piles of dry powder, which, if spent in a downturn, might generate outsized returns. Now it is time to pounce.

撤資會降低私募股權基金的收益,收購企業的機會能否彌補損失有待于觀察。多數私募基金經理想利用新擴張的信貸機構,以暴跌價獲取大量的貸款和債券?!鞍⒉_”私募股權基金的創始人里昂·布萊克表示,收購機會是“巨大”的。但傳統收購的數量在3月份銳減,被收購的只有少數幾家公司。私募股權巨頭多年吹噓手握大量“干火藥”,如果在經濟衰退中投資,可能產生超額收益?,F在反彈的時候到了。