Private debt remains an attractive investment opportunity. This is confirmed by the latest Private Debt Fund Survey conducted by KPMG, showing that investor appetite for private debt funds has continued to grow. Over the past 12 months, assets under management grew by 51%, from EUR 267.8 bn in June 2022 to EUR 404.4 bn in June 2022.
The survey results reveal some interesting observations. Firstly, the prevailing geopolitical and macroeconomic environment remains turbulent, marked by high interest rates and inflationary pressures. This dynamic presents both opportunity and challenge for the private debt market. While high interest rates typically favour private credit managers when prudent lending decisions are made, higher interest rates and inflationary forces can exert significant pressure on borrowers. As a consequence, the looming threat of payment defaults persists.
Furthermore, the transformative impact of ESG and sustainability regulations on private debt fund managers and the broader investment industry is not a recent development. In current months, European asset managers have been actively re-examining their investment strategies to align with the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR). Survey findings indicate a lasting commitment to ESG strategies, likely influenced by the growing market demand and the need to integrate ESG factors into decision-making processes and product development.
The use of technology is becoming a pivotal factor not only in addressing sustainability and ESG requirements but also in driving success in the private debt market on other fronts. Tokenisation, blockchain and most recently AI are expected to influence increasingly the investment life cycle and, when it comes to the private debt market, they are expected to influence both the access of retail investors and the increase of liquidity.
Lastly, a noteworthy trend emerges in the survey findings – the remarkable popularity of RAIFs, now leading Luxembourg's debt fund market at 53%, surpassing SIFs (38%). Continuing the trend from the previous year, there is an 8% increase in the proportion of debt funds established through RAIFs, while SIFs show a decline of 11%. This trend is expected to continue in the coming years, confirming that qualified investors appreciate the flexibility brought by this collective investment structure and its considerably fast time to market.
This study has two main objectives:
We received data from 12 depositaries acting on the market and representing 1,495 funds (or sub-funds) investing in private debt. We sent a pre-defined questionnaire to each depositary surveyed to gather data on the various debt funds they are in charge of.
This questionnaire of 38 closed-ended questions covered various topics, such as the fund category, their regulatory regimes, legal forms, sizes, geographical investment targets, investors’ origins, and even data regarding the financial statements.
The survey’s key findings are disclosed in this report on a no-name basis. Research for this survey was carried out from July 2023.