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Secondaries update: Unigestion’s David Swanson

Secondaries activity is recovering from the initial coronavirus-related shock, with good prospects for GP-led secondaries deals. Harriet Matthews speaks to David Swanson of Unigestion to discuss the market outlook

Since the onset of the Covid-19 crisis, the secondaries market has recovered in the GP-led space faster than in the LP stakes space, according to David Swanson of Unigestion: "If you had asked me in July how the year would progress, I would have said it would be a down year with the pandemic and lack of deal volume, but now 2020 might even be a record year of deployment for us, since the market has opened up again and, in particular, in the GP-led space."

LP stake sales have taken longer to recover following June valuations and the recovery of the public market, since sellers are exercising caution. "As a seller, it has made sense to wait on the sidelines for private market valuation to follow," says Swanson. "Funds that focus solely on LP stakes have had a deployment pause, but volumes will come back up; LP stakes made up around 60-70% of the market in 2019 and we are likely to return to those levels, if there is no significant worsening of the pandemic."

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