More female investors and the adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) are all seen coming to the private equity (PE) business in the next few years, according to according the latest Global Private Equity Barometer published Monday from London U.K.-based Coller Capital.
The survey published on Monday captures views of 110 PE investors from around the world during autumn 2017. Limited partners (LPs) are investors in private equity funds. General partners (GPs) are private equity fund managers.
The survey finds that most (82%) LPs are expecting the PE sector to produce annual net returns of at least 11% over the next three to five years. And, most of the remainder (17%) anticipate annual net returns of more than 16%.
Notwithstanding this rosy outlook, the survey also finds that about 60% of PE investors expect returns to decline over the subsequent five to 10 years as the industry matures. Just 7% of LPs anticipate returns to increase in the longer term.
The research also looks trends such as gender equity, artificial intelligence (AI), and the PE industry’s approach to the burgeoning marijuana sector.
Overall, the survey finds that respondents believe the proportion of women working in the PE business will rise in the years ahead. According to the survey, 72% of LPs expect the ratio of women at GPs will increase over the next three years, and over half (55%) say that the representation of women at LPs will increase, too.
When it comes to improving gender representation, respondents indicate that they favour firms adopting aspirational targets, but not quotas, in hiring and in the composition of investment committees. Only one in 20 PE investors say they would support the use of hiring quotas.
Two-thirds of LPs expect to see the industry start utilizing AI tools within the next five years, according to the survey.
LP investors’ views on the marijuana industry are mixed. Although a majority surveyed are leery of the recreational marijuana businesses, a majority (57%) of would buy into businesses dedicated to medicinal uses. Only 30% are open to recreational marijuana businesses.