Is the PE industry in shape to weather the storm we find ourselves in? There is clearly a decline in activity but is this temporary? Activity must return, the question is when and how deep will the downturn be in the meantime. This EY survey suggests the industry thinks the downturn in deal activity will be no more than 25 % but when will the upturn come? That is not something I have seen called yet in any consistent fashion, some are predicting an extremely busy round of fundraising in the fourth quarter, others a much slower return to activity. At the moment, I sit in the latter camp, but I would dearly love to be in the former!
The flip side, or course, is that despite evidence of declining sentiment, a strong majority of PE professionals remain convinced that the model remains robust, and that the industry remains well-positioned to adapt and respond, even after knowing (or at least having strong indications of) the massive amount of disruption that was poised to occur and that is still unfolding. Consequently, most PE professionals are expecting some measure of decline in deal activity – although the overwhelming majority of respondents feel it will not exceed 25%.