View all insights

2021 Could be Great Year for Private Equity

According to the latest analysis from CEPRES, 2021 could be the best year for private markets ever because of the fallout from the COVID-19 crisis. The analysis looked back at the impact on private equity and credit transactions before, during and after the most recent Global Financial Crisis (GFC), to interpolate possible outcomes of the current COVID-19 pandemic.

By looking at cash flows of 7,800 funds, 80,500 deals and underlying operating metrics of $28 trillion worth of PE-backed companies, the CEPRES Platform is able to uncover patterns of returns, risks and deal pricing across different geographies and segments spanning the GFC period. From this analysis, some key findings were:

  • Pre-GFC Industrials and Consumer dominated PE Deals by investment volume, but lost traction post-GFC compared to Technology and Healthcare

  • North America was better able to weather the GFC storm and recovered faster

  • Fund vintages 3 years prior and deals invested 2 years prior to the GFC were negatively impacted and investors should expect similarly

  • Some investors returned to the market too early during 2008 and suffered from the second contraction

  • Investors able to act in mid-2009 were able to take advantage of bottom pricing and make outsize returns

GFC Deal Look through

Source: CEPRES Platform    

Copyright © 2020 CEPRES GmbH

The full report is available to CEPRES users.


“The Coronavirus is a black swan event that is exacerbating already existing systematic risks in private market portfolios. It is by no means the same as the GFC and we see different idiosyncratic outcomes, but some similar trends. Private equity is perfectly placed to take advantage of a downturn. For those investors able to act on the dry powder in the market, we expect a top buying opportunity for well-priced companies next year. Following a largely benign environment over the last decade this event will cause a shift in allocation strategies as investors seek higher growth sectors to invest in. Using the CEPRES Platform we observe an over-diversification has led some portfolios to be worse affected than necessary. Those who focused on higher growth, innovative segments will be less impacted and investors able to act and deploy capital with the right strategy could quickly recover any losses from the current fallout. As Warren Buffet said “be fearful when others are greedy and be greedy when others are fearful”! “

Christopher Godfrey, President CEPRES Corp.

Research reports
Market research
Market performance
Investment data

Read next


DealEdge: New Quarterly Benchmarks Feature

We’ve made some recent changes to the platform that were designed to elevate your experience and provide even more insights.


Responsible Private Equity: Balancing Profitability and Public Commitments

Responsible private equity involves the integration of ethical, social, and environmental considerations into investment practices. Private equity firms, known for pooling capital to acquire, invest in, and manage companies, are facing heightened pressure to adopt responsible business practices. This encompasses evaluating the potential environmental, social, and governance (ESG) risks associated with their portfolio companies.


The Role of ESG and CSR in Private Equity

Private equity (PE) firms are increasingly incorporating Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) factors into their investment strategies as a way to balance financial returns with considerations for the public good. Similarly, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives are implemented to contribute positively to society.

Client Exclusives

Private credit: Spotlight on deals — the winners and losers & bounce back from the crisis

Read more

Navigating Private Debt: A Deep Dive into Historical Risk and Returns

Read more