She-VC: Aakar Vachhani on future of diverse and emerging fund managers in private market asset class
About Aakar Vachhani:
Aakar is a Partner at Fairview Capital Partners, one of the leading investment managers in the industry investing in venture capital and with emerging and diverse managers, the latter of which is an area where the Firm is known to be a pioneer. Aakar joined Fairview in 2008 and established and leads the Firm’s San Francisco office. He’s involved in all the Firm’s partnership and direct co-investment portfolios. He has previous experience with startups, venture capital and consulting.
Here are the topics/Questions
Below are the questions/topics discussed:
1. You have been an Investor in the private equity and venture capital markets from the Limited Partner side. How has your investing experience in early-stage venture capital funds and emerging fund managers shaped your investment thesis in the private venture market?
2. Can you elaborate about the new market opportunities with diverse managers in private equity and venture capital? And how has the market changed in the last 5 years?
3. It is said that venture capital is all about identifying patterns in time. Yet some of the bigger ideas are unpredictable and sometimes those investment decisions can be non-consensus among Partners. To invest in such unpredictable big ideas one has to learn and see things differently, analyze markets that others don’t necessarily find exciting. What is the pattern matching when it comes to investing in emerging and diverse fund managers?
4. The dollar amount that is allocated for emerging and diverse fund managers are miniscule. Do you see more institutional investors moving into this new class of early stage emerging fund managers?
5. What kind of systemic changes or programs are required for institutional fund managers to raise meaningful capital in this asset class?
6. Unlike hedge funds, private equity liquidity has been an issue for some investors for a long time. During an unusual time like this, how do you approach the liquidity question to your incoming LPs, especially the individual investor who may be more averse to illiquidity? Has your risk profile changed over the years especially more recently during COVID-19? How important do you feel time-diversification /vintage year is when thinking about a venture-oriented portfolio?
7. What types of venture funds/companies do you expect to be most successful coming out of the COVID-19 crisis?
8. Can you elaborate on some of your successful investment stories and along with perhaps some of your not so successful investments?
9. By recycling, GPs are extending the capital pool to deploy. Can you elaborate on how this strategy benefits your LPs?
10. What is your take on distributing cash vs distributing public securities? In your view, what benefits and LP more?
11. For fund managers there is always the question on what is a good expected return? Achieving expected returns is not simply a function of high multiples. It depends on the risk profile, and time invested and stage of capital deployment and overall market? Now when you are a fund of fund and also a direct co-investor, how do you navigate those questions?
12. Valuation is both an art and science. What are your most important criteria when evaluating early-stage fund managers and how do you value the performance data during your due diligence process?
13. What is the biggest misconception you are seeing about venture firms currently, particularly towards emerging fund managers
14. What advice would you give emerging fund managers right now?