Oak was an associate sponsor of SuperReturn International 2020: The world’s largest private equity and venture capital event which took place in Berlin in February.
Over 3000 industry experts were in attendance, including Oak’s senior client relationship manager, James Christie, who brought back some insights from the event.
SuperReturn Berlin, the largest annual international private equity conference, is over for another year but it provided a thought-provoking week of discussing the latest industry trends and covered wide-ranging subjects including mass adoption of cryptocurrencies, machine learning and artificial intelligence, climate change, diversity and regulatory change.
A key theme for the event was the so-called fourth industrial revolution and its accompanying swift advances in technology, but this year a day was also dedicated to the sector’s adoption of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) themes which is gathering momentum. The event explored what ESG best practice looks like and how we, as industry professionals, can implement a framework for measuring and reporting standards, as well as adapting portfolios to the realities of climate change and how we can effectively shift towards a low carbon economy.
The conference provided the opportunity to hear from a range of experts from leading private equity firms, investor groups and associated industry specialists. It was great to see our friends at We Are Guernsey in attendance with a promotional stand positioned for maximum impact, manned by a knowledgeable team from Guernsey’s fund industry, to ensure conference attendees were aware of Guernsey’s position as a well-regulated, specialist centre for servicing private equity fund structures.
Stephanie Flanders, the Bloomberg Economics Unit leader and former BBC economics editor, shared her views on current world politics and macroeconomics and some of private equity’s heaviest hitters including David Rubenstein, Leon Black and Stephen Schwarzman were interviewed to offer their insights on America post impeachment, Europe post Brexit, key drivers of growth across market cycles, and lessons learned in building a preeminent private equity business respectively. It will be interesting to see if Mr Rubenstein’s predictions for the next leader of the Democrats and the ultimate victor of this year’s US presidential election turn out to be accurate.
As always, the event offered an unrivalled opportunity for networking and catching up with old friends and colleagues as well as providing some more esoteric contributions from unrelated spheres, which often show significant parallels to our own industry. This year we had the privilege of hearing a fascinating insight into the preparation for and life aboard the International Space Station from Major Tim Peake CMG, and an inspiring talk on how you can ‘choose’ your attitude when outside your comfort zone from solo Atlantic rower, Debra Searle MVO MBE.
Overall the conference provided a wealth of insights and valuable opportunities from within the industry and it was great to represent Oak as one of the event’s sponsors.