The third 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 Pantheon International Participations.
The runner-up in the ‘Direct’ funds category was Electra Private Equity, and in the ‘Fund of Funds’ Category was HarbourVest Global Private Equity. 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: Charles Armstrong, portfolio director, Cazenove Capital Management; Charles Cade, analyst, Numis Securities; Andrew McHattie, founder, The McHattie Group; Ben Isler, portfolio manager, LGT Capital Partners; and Innes Urquhart, analyst, Winterflood Securities. Commenting on the Direct LPE funds, the judges said, “HgCapital Capital Trust continues to stand out as the absolute leader in investor reporting, and we unanimously agreed it should win the award for the third year running. It offers a combination of an outstanding annual report with detailed commentary and statistics, an excellent and user-friendly website, and helpful additional tools such as case studies and webcasts.
We chose Electra Private Equity as the runner-up in this category as we felt Electra has made substantial improvements in its investor reporting and produces an excellent annual report”. 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 “Pantheon International Participations provides a very strong level of information and detail relating to its portfolio, highlighting that broad diversification need not be a barrier to good disclosure”. The judges agreed that HarbourVest Global Private Equity was a clear runner-up, noting that its annual report “provided clear and detailed information that explained the company well”.
In addition to choosing the overall winners, the judges wished to highlight companies that excelled in two key areas. First, noting the importance of good online communications in the listed private equity sector, the judges gave special mention to Graphite Enterprise Trust and Deutsche Beteiligungs for their comprehensive and user-friendly websites.
Second, the panel agreed that they had paid particular attention to the disclosure and communication of fee arrangements, and wished to complement F&C Private Equity and Standard Life European Private Equity who displayed the fees charged in an upfront and clear manner.
Commenting on general standards of Investor Reporting in the sector, Andrew McHattie, founder, The McHattie Group, said “The best in class Annual Reports and websites showed a real effort to engage with existing and potential investors.
Greater transparency and the opportunities afforded by online communications give all types of investors more information. This helps to build the confidence needed to make long-term commitments.” Charles Cade, Head of Investment Companies Research at Numis Securities remarked, “There has been a marked improvement in the quality of portfolio information provided by the listed PE funds in recent years, but there is still a wide variation in the quality of their shareholder communications / marketing. It is encouraging to see that funds such as Pantheon and Graphite have created excellent, navigable websites, and we hope to see others follow suit”.
Charles Armstrong of Cazenove Capital Management added, “Whilst improving, a continued focus on setting out ongoing charges clearly is strongly encouraged.” The decision was made with reference to the LPEQ Investor Reporting Guidelines.
The award was sponsored by h2glenfern.