While the coronavirus pandemic has caused unprecedented and unparalleled disruption across the globe, our industry demonstrated once again its resilience and innovation, as we backed European companies and their employees through the uncertainty and amidst an intense liquidity crisis.
We are beginning to see glimmers of light at the end of the tunnel, however, and can afford to be somewhat optimistic about 2021. Whatever the challenges, our business has always been about facing them head-on and figuring out they can better the people, products, services and companies backed by private equity.
We’d like to close out 2020 by thanking all of our members for their continued and precious support, without which none of this would be possible. And the entire Invest Europe secretariat looks forward to greeting you in 2021, in order to continue providing the highest levels of ambition and service.
Seamless transition from physical...to virtual
In 2020 we were delighted to welcome 29 new member firms from 14 countries.
This extraordinary year called for innovation and reactivity in our delivery of services to members – new and old.
At the onset of the pandemic, we rapidly converted all our training courses to an online format, maintaining the quality of speakers and content and adapting each session to facilitate interactivity between participants. In the course of the year, 13 practitioner-led training courses were attended by professionals from 28 countries.
We will continue to ensure training opportunities for both seasoned professionals and new entrants throughout 2021, with online courses starting in January.
In October, the first ever virtual editions of the Investors’ Forum and Venture Capital Forum brought together LPs and GPs from across Europe and beyond. The change of schedule and new format created an opportunity for overlap sessions between each conference connecting members over 3 dynamic days of the latest data, debate and discussion with industry leaders.
We look forward to seeing you again!
We are already looking forward to 2021 and will continue to adapt to the evolving conditions for our events.
2020 witnessed an acceleration and expansion of our cutting-edge research and data work, and an intensification of our work with the Communications team to help shape the story around the numbers and disseminate it all to our members and key stakeholders.
Aside from the respected and recognised Activity data reports and an all-new Performance benchmark report, 2020 delivered the results of over a year of data collection: the first-ever report underlining the industry’s key role in employment and job creation: Private Equity at Work.
In this report, Invest Europe proudly demonstrates that our industry is not just part of the European economy, but a cornerstone of it, responsible for 10.5 million jobs across Europe in 2018 - 4.5% of the total European workforce - and adding jobs 5 times faster than the European average.
In 2021, we aim to build on this landmark report and provide you with even more evidence of private equity’s contribution to the European economy and society by extending data collection to all GPs across Europe.
Detailed evidence and analysis of the European private equity industry’s contribution to employment and job creation in Europe.
Making the Call: Delivering 9 policy calls
2020 was no ordinary year from a regulatory perspective...
This was reflected in the topics we covered during the nine Policy Calls organised by Invest Europe. This year, we had 3 times more participants - thank you!
As COVID-19 took centre stage, we invited IPEV officials to describe the impact of the crisis on valuations, the EIF announced the features of its European Guarantee Fund, and we talked with you about the ability of your portfolio companies to receive state aid.
But the sanitary crisis and its implications did not slow the pace of the EU regulatory agenda.
During our calls, we outlined the plans for a new Capital Markets Union, and we invited the European Commission to describe its thoughts on the review of the AIFMD, for which our committees and working groups are currently preparing.
We will strive for our calls to give you the relevant tools to face upcoming changes.
As more and more of you express concerns over the impact of legislation on your day-to-day business, we will strive for our calls to give you the relevant tools to face upcoming changes.
Recent ESG Disclosure legislation or increased reporting to LPs were among the concerns we focused on 2020 – but do reach out to us if there are topics you would like us to discuss in 2021. We also encourage you to read our exclusive member guides that provide you guidance on the different regulatory topics that may affect your business.
Time for a new narrative, and a new strategy
It’s a long-standing truism that people can’t solely relate to numbers, they need a story.
This is true of the private equity industry, one that has long prided itself on unmatched performance, long-term investments, personal and financial commitments and value generation across Europe. The need to develop and activate a communications strategy that can represent, and work for, Invest Europe’s entire ecosystem of members was our big deliverable of 2020, and built into it an ambition for nothing less than thought leadership positioning for our industry.
You can see it in our online presence and performance (where our engagement levels are regularly 5 times the norm). You can also identify its workings in how we now consistently collaborate with our Research colleagues in creating a new narrative, design and promotion of our leading-edge data and insights, such as the ground-breaking Private Equity at Work report. This report demonstrates how data supports a higher narrative, designed to promote a better understanding about the industry and its contribution to growth, jobs and the economy.
Our support for the Events and Training team in communicating their incredible transition from the physical to the virtual was mirrored by our close interactions with the Public Affairs team, through event presence and participation, media outreach and engaging with key stakeholders online.
And last, but not least, our membership will also observe our new communication strategy at work across our member communications and platforms, whether that be our must-read weekly newsletter – launched in April, we are now in our 38th edition – the recent relaunch of an action-oriented Communications Advisory Group or the communication around EPER’s integration into our association.
Here’s to doing more, together!
EPER becomes Invest Europe's Global Private Equity Platform
The European Private Equity Roundtable (EPER) was previously a separate legal entity made up of 21 large buyout firms.
A significant event marked our governance work in 2020: the decision to proceed with the EPER integration, named the Global Private Equity Platform. This was voted unanimously by both the Invest Europe and EPER Boards and approved during the 12 November Extraordinary General Meetings of both bodies.
As a fully integrated platform of Invest Europe, the new GPE Platform and its global private equity members can now work more closely with all of our constituencies. It is, in effect, a recognition of both the alignment of objectives and activities between EPER and Invest Europe, and the benefit of closer co-operation and integration on key regulatory and other topics relevant to the private equity industry.
Invest Europe has, in the course of this transition, united all private equity market participants and reinforced its position as the sole representative of the entire European private equity ecosystem.
We look forward to continued collaboration and partnership with the Global Equity Platform to ensure a thriving operating environment for all our members.
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