“Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth”. I was reminded of those words while looking back at my year as BVCA chair and considering how some significant events impacted on my plan for the key priorities that would shape my year.
We saw unprecedented upheavals in the political landscape. That has resulted in some changes in the stakeholders we are dealing with and a refocusing of our engagement with them. However the BVCA is used to working with all political parties to address their priorities while making sure they understand those of our industry and we will continue to do so.
We saw the war in Ukraine and aftershocks from the pandemic creating a much worse economic outlook - rising inflation, higher interest rates, risk of recession. Clearly this will challenge many of our portfolio companies, but private capital’s active ownership model is well suited to dealing with such challenges. That model was seriously tested during the GFC, and the result was continued outperformance of private capital over public equity. And beyond that there will be really attractive investment opportunities – just as the private capital vintages immediately following the GFC were very strong. I also believe we will see investors continuing to allocate capital to our asset class over the next cycle - because the return outperformance that private capital delivers is a key part of their asset allocation strategy and helps them in turn deliver stronger returns for their investors, including millions of pensioners across the UK.
Alongside dealing with these developments, over the year we have made solid progress in communicating the reality of the private capital business model and the positive impact of private capital more generally.
Over the year, we have released a number of rigorous and robust reports that help to support the fact that private capital’s consistent outperformance of public markets is driven by long term investment in growth and creation of more resilient, higher quality businesses as opposed to cutting investment or costs. So there is more evidence out there to evidence the beneficial impact of private capital in our economy and communities that we are using to communicate that message clearly to stakeholders in politics, regulators, and the media.
Over the last year it has been a privilege to serve as chair of the BVCA working with the strong, committed team. I look forward to continuing to work with my successor, Garry Wilson, and the excellent BVCA team over the years ahead.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of the BVCA’s foundation - 40 years of delivering world class training and events, of providing key technical and regulatory input and essential focused advocacy for our members. Over those 40 years the scale, capability, and impact of the BVCA has grown massively in lockstep with the private capital industry that we represent. I’m sure that both the private capital industry and the BVCA will still be thriving 40 years ahead.
Managing Partner, Duke Street, and BVCA Chair 2022-23
To mark his tenure as Chair, Charlie is also the first guest on the BVCA Reflections Series, a series of podcasts to mark the 40th anniversary of the BVCA. In this first episode, Charlie talks to BVCA Chief Executive, Michael Moore, about his reflections on 2022 as BVCA Chair.