Mounir Guen: Countdown to 2008

Mounir Guen, chief executive of MVision, a global placement agent, joins PEO on day three of its Countdown to 2008.

Mounir Guen

“2007 will be remembered as a year of awareness and transformation as the industry awakens to the need to manage it's public image. The financial community suffered a major setback with credit market mistakes. Private equity has pushed the frontier further, deeper and broader, tilting to more operational ownership. 

The next year will have more of the same trends:

The industry must continue to address it's public image and the responsibilities associated with its visibility.

Banks will need to clear their mistakes and adjust accordingly, which means a reduction in risk and a more cautious approach to debt. Investors will continue to grow in number and diversity globally, with more sovereign wealth entities forming.

Europe will continue to offer great private equity opportunities with many investors focussing on increasing allocations in regional, local and venture partnerships. Emerging markets will deepen as activity and experience grows, generating consistent portfolio performance.

The US market will be as busy as ever, with an increasing number of international investors opening offices to manage their growing local investment exposures. Mega funds will continue to be raised, but will find the sizes they can attain being more subdued than in prior years as investors focus on fund size.

And alternatives to the partnership vehicles will grow with listed products, permanent capital and other structures. Infrastructure will continue to grow in volume especially in US and Europe.” Mounir Guen, chief executive, MVision.

Placement agent MVision began the fourth quarter of the year with a record for fundraising in Central and Eastern Europe, coordinating the final close on Mid Europa Partners’ €1.53 billion ($2.17 billion) third fund. The placement agent is also advising Apax Partners’ latest European fundraising effort, which is expected to top rival buyout firm Permira’s €11.1 billion fund.

Other highlights in 2007 included the mandate to raise Richard Branson’s Virgin Group’s first ever institutional private equity fund Virgin Green, which is attempting to raise $400 million (€271.9 million); a €300 million final close for Swedish mid-market firm Segulah’s latest effort in October and a €475 million expansion capital fund for fellow Nordic firm EQT.