Although still a nascent industry, private equity is arguably the only alternative asset class well positioned to give institutional investors access to Africa's private markets. Infrastructure and real assets have struggled to attract significant institutional capital, whilst alternative credit and private debt are overlooked by debt funds. Given the limited data and knowledge, many have of these asset classes and markets, the confidence to distribute allocations is held back by the concern of undue risk exposure.
Despite the growing popularity of Africa private equity, many LPs and GPs are apprehensive that the investable themes that pitted Africa private markets against many emerging markets are not been realised. Thus prompting the questions – where does the real value of investing in Africa alternatives lie? How viable is investing in Africa alternative assets? How can alternative fund managers capture further value for asset owners? In a small and fragmented market, what are the best way to gain meaningful exposure to alternative assets?
Themed Leveraging Alternatives for Risk–Adjusted Returns, the 2017 AAII – 4th New York Forum is a practitioner–led, peer-to-peer ecosystem of institutional investors and fund managers that are committed to addressing the principal blocks to institutions with a strong appetite to build infrastructure, real assets, private equity, alternative credit, and private debt portfolios across Africa. The Intensive is a “talk-show free” open forum driven by knowledge sharing about what works and what doesn't work when investing in Africa, and it is held under the Chatham House Rule.