Back to the Future: Infrastructure, Private Debt and Secondaries explored at the Alternative Fund Strategies Conference
Drone superhighways in the sky and digital infrastructure in space disrupting industries on earth. It’s safe to say Mark Boggett, CEO of Seraphim, had the audience spellbound when he spoke at the Infrastructure conference, one of three streams at the BVCA Alternative Fund Strategies Conference on 28 March.
In a session called ‘Infratech: the future of smart infrastructure’, he drew a picture of a whole new world of possibilities, describing an army of smaller, lighter, cheaper satellites enabling ‘a data communication tsunami’ impacting everything from smart cities to climate change.
Climate was a central theme, with Andre Zachmann of Zouk presenting a keynote entitled ‘Energy transition infrastructure in 2023: Perfect storm or perfect year’ and GRESB’s Fabio Schweinoster Manfroni giving a talk on ESG and Sustainability Trends.
The Secondaries and Private Debt conferences saw huge interest too. Coller Capital’s Global Private Equity Barometer set the scene at Secondaries. Smart phones were out in the audience to take photos and capture the insights.
Panel discussions then followed on LP portfolios, valuations over the next six months and continuation funds — with Kate Ashton, partner at event sponsor Debevoise & Plimpton, leading the largest panel of the day — this was the theme everyone wanted to speak on.
Private Debt saw Eric Capp at Pemberton Asset Management take a look at the industry through the lens of the crisis started with Silicon Valley Bank.
John F Anderson, International Counsel at Debevoise & Plimpton, led a debate on the challenges and opportunities to come this year. Kevin Hogan, Head of Ireland Fund Services and Group Head of Private Debt at Aztec took on the question of ESG in private debt, while PitchBook provided market data and trends — another PowerPoint for which the smartphones were out like lighters at a Coldplay concert.
Events Producer, BVCA
This article was originally published on 6 April 2023 on the BVCA website.