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Pooled Employer Plans (“PEPs”): Putting a little PEP in a 401k retirement plan could help to protect your Portfolio Companies

Set against the backdrop of the continuing wave of ERISA litigation that is being brought against employers who sponsor retirement plans, Pooled Employer Plans (“PEPs”) are emerging in the US retirement plan marketplace as an alternative that may limit employers’ risk of retirement plan-related litigation. There have been over 220 ERISA class action suits filed in connection with retirement plans since 2018, and the top ten ERISA settlements for 2021 alone totaled $840 million in the aggregate. Since ERISA litigation is a serious and relevant concern, many plan sponsors, including private equity sponsors and their portfolio companies, would benefit from evaluating whether a PEP is a viable retirement plan solution for them.

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Secondaries Sophistication Drives a Surge in Activity

Time to Read: 1 minutes Practices: Private Equity, Asset Management, Private Funds, Secondary Transactions, Anti-Corruption / International Risk Industries: Private Equity, Investment Management

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PE Industry Insights

Welcome to the April 2022 edition of PErspectives—our periodic publication featuring news, trends and legal developments in the private equity (PE) industry. In this issue, we examine the forces behind the booming secondaries deal activity, which had a record-setting 2021 and is likely to continue its ascent for the rest of 2022. We also delve into the regulatory and geopolitical headwinds facing the market.

The rapid evolution of the secondaries market has provided unprecedented levels of liquidity for investors and created new ways for sponsors and investors to monetize assets, realign portfolios and hold onto prized portfolio companies at the same time as making distributions.

With a view to how these developments are impacting PE stakeholders, we explore these and other critical questions:

  • What are the drivers behind the significant rise in GP-led deals and, in particular, the spike in single-asset deals?
  • Why are traditional LP portfolio sales volumes holding strong in the current environment?
  • What impact will the SEC’s increased scrutiny on the PE market have on secondaries deal activity, and what are sponsors doing to ensure compliance with proposed new rules?
  • How are sponsors and investors adjusting their strategies in reaction to the war in Ukraine? 
  • What is the outlook for secondaries deal activity and market innovations over the next 12 to 18 months?

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