MAS names sustainability head; Malaysia’s EPF appoints COO and CFO; GIC PE head for SEA leaves; State Super hires new exec; Hesta appoints chief growth officer, chief Debby Blakey appointed to corporate governance board; ex-BlackRock exec joins IQ-EQ in Singapore; HSBC AM builds direct real estate team; ex-Vanguard head of distribution joins LGIM; Sanne names Singapore head; and more
The 82-year-old American businessman and former chairman and CEO of American International Group, posed the question: Why has private equity been growing?
ôA lot of companies are fed up with having to file quarterly earnings because if you miss by a penny youÆre trashed,ö he says, laying blame in part on young analysts whom he described as ôtwenty-one-year-olds fresh from college who think they know how to run companiesö.
Add the hassles of filing earnings reports to over-regulation and ôat some point, some reach the conclusion: why be public?ö says Greenberg, who is now chairman and CEO of CV Starr & Co.
Turning to the subprime fallout, he says: ôItÆll be some time before credit gets anything like it used to be û so there will be far more discrimination in what deals you do and who will get access to debt.ö
He adds: ôIÆm not suggesting private equity will come to a screeching halt, just suggesting it will be far more discriminatory.ö
After heaping praise on the growth of China he warns, however: ôWhatÆs not healthy is the unrealistic P/EÆs in the A- and H-shares. IÆd be suspect of anything selling at 30x to 60x earnings.ö
He sums up the issue by saying: ôThe area would be better served if there was a little more control.ö
Greenberg was ever the gentleman and didnÆt dish dirt on AIG even when an audience member asked him his views on loyalty û a reference to how after decades of work for AIG, in 2005 its board forced him to resign from his post as CEO. This was because Eliot Spitzer, the attorney general of New York state, alleged Greenberg was guilty of fraudulent business practices. (After a subsequent investigation, however, all criminal charges were dropped.)
And when asked about ChinaÆs political system, Greenberg (perhaps reflecting his thoughts these days given his age) took a religious bent. ôThereÆs more than one road to heaven. . .you canÆt impose a political system from outside. Not successfully. You can impose, but it ainÆt going to work. China has to find its own way.ö
Kwap property arm appoints CEO; VFMC names new CEO as Lisa Gray retires; MSIG Singapore promotes Mack Eng as CEO; Monroe Capital opens first Asia office in Seoul, hires head from Aberdeen; Vanguard Australia appoints new MD to relocate from US; HSBC AM expands EM debt team; Vantage FX hires from CGS-CIMB in Singapore; and more.
Financials and healthcare have been spotted as promising sectors, while several tech IPOs are on the way, including a $2.2 billion fintech firm and a GIC-backed e-commerce startup.
A strong recovery in the Asia Pacific private capital markets in 2021 sets up favourable hiring and compensation trends.
The $95 billion Korean savings will set up a separately managed account for real estate debt investment early next year in order to shorten decision-making and help it win deals in a crowded market.