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A Program by The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU)

About the Research

This global study provides insight into private market trends following a year in which industries and economies worldwide were transformed by COVID-19, market volatility, and unprecedented geopolitical events.

Over six weeks leading into 2021, The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), supported by Adams Street Partners, surveyed 110 limited partners for their views on a variety of topics, ultimately focused on areas of optimism or concern. Participants included pension funds, institutional accounts, and portfolio managers located in the US, Europe, and Asia.

The findings of this research effort are shared across a variety of media to effectively highlight key findings on geopolitical risk, ESG trends, and the outlook for select strategies, sectors, and geographies. Read on to learn what institutional investors report they need to consider to best seize opportunities in the future.

Key Findings

View Infographic


consider dependency on markets with geopolitical risks as the most important factor when assessing new investment opportunities


believe private markets will continue to outperform public markets in the long run


believe that the return value of an investment can be enhanced by incorporating ESG factors into the decision-making process


believe that funds that start deploying cash following a crisis produce stronger returns than funds that deployed cash in late-cycle, peak economic growth

Leveraging Opportunity in Change: Navigating the Trends Shaping Private Markets in 2021 and Beyond

About the Report

2020 was a year of profound change that will influence financial markets for years to come. The COVID-19 pandemic hampered economic growth and exacerbated market volatility, and investors are still processing the short- and long-term impacts.

At the same time, trends such as increased digitization and concern about climate change are creating structural shifts which investors must factor into their investment strategy. However, investors are confident that private market assets will continue to offer opportunities for long-term growth.

View Report

The report was written by Monica Woodley and edited by Monica Ballesteros of The EIU

We would like to thank the following industry leaders for their contributions to the report and video insights below:

Ingrid Albinsson, Chief Investment Officer and Executive Vice President, The Seventh Swedish National Pension Fund (AP7)

Paul Cavazos, Chief Investment Officer, American Beacon Advisors

Hideya Sadanaga, Senior Managing Partner & Head of Private Equity, Japan Post Bank

Antoon Schneider, Managing Director & Senior Partner in the Principal Investor and Private Equity practice, Boston Consulting Group

David Zhang, Founding Managing Partner, Matrix China

Adams Street Participants:

Jeff Diehl, Managing Partner & Head of Investments

Miguel Gonzalo, CFA, Partner & Head of Investment Strategy and Risk Management

Alex Lesch, Partner, Investment Strategy and Risk Management

Companies that assume customers and workers will revert to their pre-pandemic approaches to conducting business may be at risk of extinction. We believe that successful companies will invest heavily in intuitive technology that enables customers and workers to interact at the time and place of their choosing.

— Jeff Diehl,  Managing Partner & Head of Investments

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