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HgCapital and Graphite win LPEQ Investor Reporting Awards 2014

The second annual LPEQ Awards for Excellence in Investor Reporting were presented at LPEQ’s flagship Investor Conference today, held at the Royal Institution of Great Britain and attended by over 200 public market investors. The winner of the award for ‘Direct’ funds went to HgCapital Trust. The winner of the ‘Fund of Funds’ category went to Graphite Enterprise Trust.

The runner-up in the ‘Direct’ funds category was NB Private Equity Partners, and in the ‘Fund of Funds’ Category was Pantheon International Participations. The Awards were decided by a five-strong independent judging panel consisting of public market investors and analysts. Winners were chosen from among LPEQ members, taking into account all aspects of investor reporting, particularly annual reports and websites. The judges were: Iain Scouller, analyst, Oriel Securities; Alan Brierley, analyst, Canaccord Genuity; Stephen Doran, senior fund manager, HSBC Global Asset Management; Tom Berggren, manager, Optimized Portfolio Management; and Stephen Lowe, a private investor.

Commenting on the Direct LPE funds, the judges said, “For the second year running HgCapital Capital Trust stands out as the absolute leader in investor reporting. It is unique in the level of detail provided, and the clarity of its communication both in its annual report and on its website.

We chose NB Private Equity Partners as the runner-up in this category for its effort to communicate clearly its strategy and explain the different components of its portfolio.”

Having assessed the Listed Private Equity Funds of Funds sector, the judges said that reporting standards overall continue to increase, and that in their view ‘Graphite Enterprise Trust is the deserving winner, offering clear, informative and accessible information about its organisation, governance and portfolio.

Our runner-up, Pantheon International Participations, continues to provide a commendable degree of insight into its portfolio, highlighting that broad diversification of investments need not be a barrier to offering good transparency’. In addition to choosing the overall winners, the judges wished to highlight companies that excelled in two key areas.

The panel felt that corporate governance was a particularly important topic and wished to give special mention to F&C Private Equity, Electra Private Equity and Graphite Enterprise Trust who, in their view, demonstrated a strong degree of involvement from their respective Boards of Directors, incorporating meaningful Chairman’s Statements in their annual reports. In addition, the judges felt that several companies had excellent websites, combining good functionality with useful information. Of particular note were Altamir, Electra Partners, GIMV and HarbourVest Global Private Equity. One judge, Stephen Lowe said, ‘Websites provide private investors with the most effective means of researching investment companies and the standards attained by those of listed private equity and particularly by LPEQ's members are the equal of any in the corporate universe’.

Commenting on general standards of Investor Reporting in the sector, Alan Brierley, Director, Investment Companies Team at Canaccord Genuity, observed that, ‘There has been a significant improvement in the quality of investor reporting in recent years and this is a welcome development as the sector looks to build on recent momentum and broaden investor appetite.’ Stephen Doran, Senior Fund Manager at HSBC Global Asset Management, added that ‘This [improvement] will challenge the criticism that, in the past, private equity firms have been opaque. Investors will be able to make more informed decisions in the future. The decision was made with reference to the LPEQ Investor Reporting Guidelines.

The award was sponsored by h2glenfern.