Navigating the Future: Key Trends Impacting the Private Capital Fund Industry

As we hit the 2024 halfway point, challenging fundraising conditions continue to persist (noting a contraction of 22% in global private capital fundraising in 2023[1]), as well as a high degree of fundraising concentration to the biggest managers and general deal inactivity.

Here we provide a pulse check on the key themes within the private capital funds industry as we all collectively plot a course forward for our respective businesses and specialisms. The key industry themes of note are around liquidity, ESG, operational performance and post-COVID considerations.


80%[2] of the capital raised by UK based fund managers and GPs in 2023 were housed within 10% of the funds, further to this, over 60%[3] of the funds that were raised were less than £100m.

The industry has responded to the liquidity gap through innovative liquidity solutions seeking to address GP and LP-led market demand for liquidity. 46% of the $112 bn[4] in global secondary volume in 2023 was fund manager or GP-led.

Improvement in secondary pricing
Following a significant rise in valuations within public markets during 2023 and macro environment stabilisation, there has been an improvement in pricing.

Across all strategies, pricing for LP positions were estimated at 85% of NAV in 2023 compared with 81% in 2022, but still trailing behind the 92% seen in 2021.

Rise of continuation funds
Continuation funds have emerged as a prominent trend in the private markets landscape, particularly within the private equity strategies.

These funds allow fund managers and GPs to extend the holding period of their most promising assets beyond the typical lifecycle of a fund by transferring these assets into a new vehicle, the continuation fund.

They provide an effective solution for fund managers and GPs to navigate market dynamics by offering liquidity to investors and extending the period of value creation by a manager with deep knowledge of the assets with a view to optimising overall returns.

Democratisation and tokenisation
Democratisation (also referred to as retailisation) extends the offering of private capital investment strategies into less institutional routes and has been the subject of exploration for some time. There are number of barriers which appear to still permeate the industry from a regulatory and infrastructure perspective, and much is still required to educate a wider investor base.

Political perception connected to private capital investment is also relevant as there needs to be effective political will and the resulting government policy to support.

These barriers appear to be starting to reduce; for example, the EU introduced a new ELTIF 2.0 legislation which became effective in January 2024 and is a more flexible and inclusive framework supporting a less institutional investor.

Tokenisation is often discussed in the same breath through providing fractional ownership with the use of blockchain technology that could support smaller investment sizes.

“The GFSC (Guernsey Financial Services Commission) [Commission] supports innovation and recognises the role tokenisation could play in improving efficiency within capital markets. The Commission is aware of growing interest, locally and internationally, in the application of this technology within the funds sector and this is an area of focus for fund regulators globally.” (14th May 2024 – Policy Statement – Approach to Fund Tokenisation)

Blockchain technology could also have wider implications for the industry by facilitating a more efficient transaction.


Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) continues to intensify within the private capital funds industry as a result of market expectations, regulatory and government intervention.

The emphasis on ESG stems from:

  • Sustainability goals: Increasing pressure from stakeholders to adhere to sustainability and ethical investment practices.
  • Regulatory requirements: Stricter regulations are pushing funds to integrate ESG criteria into their investment processes. Expected policymaking is anticipated to force rapid decarbonisation in the near future, driving funds to adopt more rigorous ESG standards.
  • Investor engagement: There has been a massive increase in engagement from investors on ESG issues. The due diligence performed by investors is now extensive and this heightened scrutiny reflects a broader commitment to responsible investing.
  • Performance metrics: Growing evidence suggests that ESG-compliant companies can outperform their non-compliant peers over the long term.

The EDCI (ESG Data Convergence Initiative) formed in 2021 and represents 425 + GPs and LPs from private equity, 4,300 portfolio companies and $28 trillion AUM.

They published data[5] which indicates that private equity ownership has a significant impact on ESG topics however performance for privately owned companies under private equity ownership on areas of sustainability is mixed relative to public companies, with some interesting themes that include:

  • Decarbonisation – Private companies held for two of more years triple their use of renewable energy.
  • Job growth – Private companies made 4% more net hires than public companies.
  • Diversity – Private companies lagged public ones by 33 % with at least one woman on their board.

Operational performance

Market conditions are influencing a trend for private capital fund managers and GPs to perform an operating model review in pursuit of performance.

  • Professionalising fundraising: Fund managers and GPs seek a route to professionalising[6] their approach to fundraising as a means to differentiate. This is likely to involve the provision of an enhanced data set to pre-empt questions and leverage technology in some way to support the consumption of that data set. Technology solutions also seek to support an enhanced investor/LP experience.
  • Cost reduction: Adjustments to existing operating models and service provider change in the pursuit of cost reduction is a trend that will continue particularly if fund managers and GPs have a trajectory of reduced fund sizes and management fee pressure.


COVID is gone but not forgotten as the significant impact of the pandemic still heavily impacts working practices.

There was clearly a high spike in growth capital invested during the COVID-19 period with global growth capital invested in 2021 at $910bn, compared with $399bn in 2019 and $470bn in 2023.

Emerging fund managers who launched in 2021 would expect to find a cooling of the reception received by prospect investors when fundraising this year and into 2025.

Positive outlook for the private capital landscape

Despite the observed fundraising challenges, the private markets remain vibrant and full of opportunity as the industry is adept at adapting and innovating to offer solutions and products to challenges and market demand.

As we go into the second half of the year, there’s a cautiously optimistic outlook with interest rates expected to start reducing supported by falling inflation. This being said, as 49% of the global population is subject to an election this year, including the USA, UK and EU there will be plenty of uncertainty to navigate.

At Belasko, our full scope, tailored fund administration solution is designed to drive performance throughout the fund lifecycle. With experts based across the UK, Channel Islands and Luxembourg, and leading technology that’s customised to you and your needs, we’re well positioned to provide you with responsive, accurate and consistent support.

Please get in touch with the Belasko team today to discover more.

[1] McKinsey Global Private Markets Review 2024 – March 28 2024
[2] BVCA Report on Investment Activity 2023 – 14 of 131 Funds equated to £47bn
[3] BVCA Report on Investment Activity 2023 – 83 of 131 Funds less than £100m
[4] Greenhill, Jefferies, J.P. Morgan Asset Management. “Global Secondary Market Review,” Jefferies, January 2024.  Data are based on availability as of February 29, 2024.
[5] Boston Consulting Group – Private Equity Sustainability Report 2023
[6] Bain & Company Global Private Equity Report 2024

Outsourced models are changing: Considerations when changing your operating model

Operating models are currently being reviewed by a number of private capital fund managers and GPs in the pursuit to enhanced performance.

Once your objectives have been established (see previous article), there are two primary routes that may be taken.

  • Scope status quo: keeping the scope of work outsourced the same.
  • Scope change: change the scope by increasing the undertaking in-house or increasing the scope of outsourcing.

In this article, we explore the considerations of changing the scope of outsourcing.

Reviewing the options

In-source activities currently performed by a third-party

This involves identifying and bringing activities that are currently managed by external service providers back into the organisation.

Outsourcing activities currently performed in-house

Increasing the level of outsourcing has historically been used an option by fund managers and GPs to enhance performance by improving operational efficiency, managing risk and reducing cost.

Considerations when changing the scope of services outsourced  

  • Regulatory permissions – are regulatory permissions required to undertake the activity?
  • Expertise and resourcing – what level of specialist expertise and/or resourcing is required to undertake the activity?
  • Opportunity cost – is there a benefit of freeing up specific resource and/or an opportunity cost of allocating additional activities?
  • Systems and data strategy – what’s the strategy around in-house system capability and the maintenance of data as an asset?
  • Risk management and control – will a change in operating model require an investment in procedural environment?  
  • Relationship with your service provider(s) – is it likely that your relationship will change as a result of an adjustment to scope of services? Could this change provide other benefits or represent any risks?
  • Contractual position with service provider(s) – if services are being terminated, what is the notice period (typically 3-6 months)?
  • Time for service provider to onboard the additional services – for additional services, what’s the timeframe to onboard and embed additional services? Is there a mechanism in place to ensure additional services are embedded successfully?

Fund managers have several strategic options to consider when changing their operating models. Insourcing and outsourcing decisions should be based on a thorough assessment of capabilities, costs, and strategic alignment.

As a next generation fund administrator, Belasko has developed a tailored service offering to support you in achieving your target operating model.

If you’d like to discuss your outsourced operating model in more detail, please get in touch with Nick McHardy, our Group Head of Funds at [email protected].

Next time, we explore how your objectives may be met by keeping the scope of services with your outsourced provider the same.

Maximising Wealth Management: The Advantages of Using the Channel Islands for Private Trust Companies

Recent legislative changes have made private trust companies (PTCs) in Jersey and Guernsey increasingly attractive and easier to establish. PTCs are particularly appealing to families who appreciate the use and flexibility of trusts but prefer to retain more clearly defined powers. These powers can be exercised by the board of directors of the PTC, rather than relying on individual or institutional trustees with whom they may not have had a prior relationship.

PTCs have become increasingly popular among high-net-worth private clients as they often prefer to establish their own PTC to act as the trustee of their family trusts, rather than transferring assets to an offshore professional trustee company. Andy Bailey, Belasko’s head of private wealth, explores the advantages and potential issues of utilising Jersey and Guernsey as hubs for PTCs.

  1. Control: Trustees must act in accordance with the terms of the trust deed and comply with governing legislation. Often, trustees have wide discretionary powers in the administration of trust assets. Typically, the trustee is a professional corporate entity, potentially remote from the family. A PTC enables family members or trusted advisers to participate directly by sitting on the board or as consultants and advisers. This structure allows the family to retain greater influence over the management of trusts through the PTC than they might otherwise have.
  2. Transferability: Having a PTC as the trustee of family trusts avoids the need for future changes of trusteeship. Instead, only the management agreement between the PTC and the licensed administrator needs to be terminated and a new agreement entered into with a new licensed administrator. The previous licensed administrator’s PTC directors (if any) would then cease to be on the board of the PTC.
  3. Confidentiality: Ownership of the PTC structure can remain confidential when structured with the use of, for example, a purpose trust. This level of confidentiality is particularly appealing to HNWIs and families seeking discretion in their financial affairs.
  4. Trustee Liability: Professional trustees are always aware of their liability and the risk of being sued by beneficiaries or third parties. As a result, they are often reluctant to take ownership of assets or participate in ventures with substantial risks. PTCs, due to the composition of their boards, can provide for riskier investments to be included in the structure, offering greater flexibility and opportunity.
  5. Philanthropy: PTCs can make confidential philanthropic payments while ensuring the person managing the structure understands the thought process behind supporting such causes. This ability allows families to support charitable initiatives discreetly and effectively.
  6. Flexibility: A PTC is likely to be more flexible and quicker in dealing with trust assets. The direct involvement of family members or trusted advisers can expedite decision-making processes and adapt more readily to changing circumstances.
  7. Legal and Regulatory Framework: Both Jersey and Guernsey boast well-developed legal systems and stringent regulatory frameworks providing familiarity and reliability for trust structures. In addition, the trust laws in the Channel Islands are among the most advanced globally. They allow for a variety of trust structures, including discretionary trusts, reserved power trusts, and purpose trusts. This flexibility enables the tailoring of trusts to meet specific needs, whether for succession planning, asset protection, or charitable purposes.
Potential Issues
  • Management and Control: The residency of a trust typically depends on where it’s administered and where the majority of trustees are resident. It’s crucial that the PTC isn’t considered resident in an unfavourable jurisdiction, as this could lead to the trusts being deemed resident there, resulting in adverse tax consequences. To avoid this, most of the directors should be in the jurisdiction where the PTC has its registered office. Additionally, directors must properly discharge their duties, understand their roles, actively participate in meetings, and be aware of the company’s business.
  • The Sham Argument: To prevent the structure from being attacked as a sham, there must be clear evidence that the settlor and the PTC intended to establish a legitimate trust structure. This structure should be managed as such, with proper documentation and administration. Using a licensed administrator to oversee the general administration of the PTC and its underlying trusts can help mitigate the risk of a sham accusation.
  • Liability of Directors: Directors of PTCs have a duty to act in the best interests of the company. If they breach this duty, the general rule is that their obligations are owed to the company, not the shareholders. Consequently, the company would need to take action against the directors.

Jersey and Guernsey are growing in popularity as strategic locations for establishing and managing PTCs. Both jurisdictions offer an unparalleled environment, for high-net-worth individuals and families, that supports the growth, protection, and smooth transfer of wealth across generations.

At Belasko, our team provides the professional, personalised support that’s needed to manage the needs of HNWIs, families and entrepreneurs. Drawing on many years’ experience, we offer tech-driven, optimised wealth solutions across a range of jurisdictions and generations. If you’d like to learn more about how we can help with establishing a PTC in the Channel Islands, get in touch with Andy Bailey at [email protected].

Outsourced models are changing: Four value drivers that underpin an operating model review

Market conditions are influencing a trend for private capital fund managers and GPs to perform an operating model review in pursuit of performance. This review considers the service provided by third-party service providers such as your fund administrator.

Following the introduction of this trend in the last article, we now explore the four core value drivers and objectives that underpin such a review to assist the determination of what benefits an operating model change could bring to your business:

  • Cost reduction
  • Operational effectiveness
  • Risk Management
  • Investor experience

Cost reduction

You may be able to achieve cost saving targets without compromising on performance or quality by working differently with your existing and/or transferring to a third-party service provider (such as your fund administrator).

A new provider may be able to offer fee reductions by taking a longer-term view on the relationship or be able to leverage a more efficient operating model themselves.

Operational effectiveness

Identifying the processes and/or deliverables that take up the weight of internal resource and time may help apply focus in the right areas.

A consideration of whether there have been opportunities missed because of sub-optimal reaction times may be relevant.

Risk management

What is keeping you up at night?

Are there historical errors and/or any specific areas of discomfort that your team has over legal, tax and regulatory change which may position an adjustment to a specific part of your operating model.

Identifying areas of risk may yield a different level of interaction with your fund administrator and other third-party service providers to help manage risk better overall.

Investor experience

Fund managers and GPs are generally seeking a route to professionalising[1] their approach to fundraising. This may result in specific objectives around enhancing the investor experience on an ongoing basis or there may be some direct or indirect investor feedback that needs to be addressed.

Adjustments to processes and experience enhancements through the application of technology may be a route to attracting new capital inflows.

At Belasko, we partner with private capital fund managers and GPs to offer a tailored and fully outsourced fund administration solution to support you in achieving your target operating model.

If this would be of interest to discuss further, please do get in touch with Nick McHardy, our Group Head of Funds at [email protected].

In the next article, we explore the different options that fund managers and GPs should consider in achieving the specific objectives of an operating model change.

[1] Bain & Company Global Private Equity Report 2024

Outsourced models are changing : A response to market conditions

Outsourced models are well ingrained within the private capital fund industry, in part because fund structures are often domiciled within a different jurisdiction (e.g. Channel Islands, Luxembourg) to the core finance function of the fund manager (e.g. UK).

We have also seen that outsourcing has been used as a tool within the industry to enhance performance by improving operational efficiency, managing risk and reducing cost.

Historically, more material adjustments to existing outsourcing arrangements and the use of third-party service providers have correlated with market downturns as inflexion points. For example, following the Global Financial Crisis it has now become uncommon for fund managers and GPs to replicate the fund accounting maintained by their fund administrator for reconciliation purposes.

Flash forward to today, following an extended period of challenging fundraising conditions (noting a contraction of 22% in global private capital fundraising in 2023[1]), a high degree of fundraising concentration to the biggest managers and general deal inactivity, fund managers and GPs are once again more actively undertaking operating model reviews in order to enhance performance.

There are also supply-side factors with the emergence of alternative service providers with market differentiating features. This includes fund administrators that have more highly tailored service models and optimised technology or specialist software providers and consultants seeking to solve specific challenges through automation and Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Market perceptions have also shifted, whereby it’s more commonplace for fund managers and GPs to transfer existing fund administration mandates to new providers when faced with an opportunity to improve client service levels and reduce cost. With the right process and governance in place, it is a much easier process to transfer existing structures and services to a new provider and can be beneficial to consider such a transition sooner than later.

As a next generation fund administrator, Belasko has developed a programme that supports fund managers and GPs through an operating model review. Our fund administration solutions are precise, tailored and designed for performance.

If this would be of interest to discuss further, please do get in contact with Nick McHardy, our Group Head of Funds at [email protected].

And finally, stay tuned for our next article where we’ll explore the value drivers that managers and GPs may want to consider when embarking on their operating model reviews.

[1] Source: Preqin.

Belasko appoints new Group Head of Marketing

Belasko is pleased to announce the expansion of its leadership team with the appointment of Alice Heald as Group Head of Marketing.

In her new role, Alice will leverage her extensive 10+years of financial services marketing experience to spearhead strategic marketing initiatives across Belasko’s core markets.

“We’re delighted to welcome Alice to our team,” said Ross Youngs, Chief Commercial Officer at Belasko. “We’re setting our sights on ambitious growth goals in the coming years and now, with Alice on board, she can lead the charge in strengthening our marketing strategy, pushing boundaries and elevating the Belasko brand to new heights”.

Prior to her role at Belasko, Alice has worked at companies including SS&C Technologies and Intertrust Group (now CSC), where she’s gained invaluable insights and experience into executing bespoke marketing campaigns tailored to the private capital funds and financial services sectors.

On her appointment, Alice said: “I’m thrilled to be joining the team at such an exciting time of rapid growth, change and evolution for this business. I’m here to challenge the status quo, redefine the way we do things and be bigger and bolder in our approach to really set ourselves apart from the masses. Most of all, I’m excited to be a driving force of growth and innovation that will help take Belasko to the next level. Let’s get started!”

Celebrating International Women’s Day

To celebrate International Women’s Day, women across Belasko’s offices caught up to discuss their current experiences as women in the finance industry.

Our team give some advice on how to break through in the industry as a woman and share stories on the inspiration they’ve found in their colleagues within Belasko.

Watch the full video below.


Belasko acquires Jersey-based family office

Belasko has acquired Jersey-based family office business, BKS Family Office Limited, to complement and expand Belasko’s existing family office and private wealth offering.

The deal increases the experience and capacity across the group in Jersey, Guernsey, Luxembourg and the UK.

Paul Lawrence, Group Managing Director at Belasko, said: ‘We’re delighted to have come to this agreement with BKS which will build the scale of our operating model in Jersey whilst continuing to deliver outstanding client service. The acquisition of BKS delivers critical scale to our Jersey business but also enhances our private wealth and family office services across all of our operating jurisdictions. This acquisition cements our commitment to Jersey and our continued innovation in the family office sector.’

Chris Bevan, Managing Director at BKS, added, ‘We were looking for the right partner to help BKS in the next chapter of its growth whilst supporting succession goals for our leadership team. The personal relationships with Paul and the entire Belasko team gave us the confidence that we could do this whilst continuing to look after our clients and all members of the team.’

The combined Jersey business will relocate to the existing BKS offices on New Street with 35 highly experienced private wealth practitioners, another milestone for the Belasko Group.

How is ESG impacting everything, everywhere and everyone

I would imagine that by now, ESG is close to being a better-known acronym than KYC in financial services. This is ultimately because ESG dominates news headlines on a daily basis and as a consequence, buyers of goods and services now differentiating where they allocate capital – seeking out businesses pushing to make a difference.  

This means ESG or sustainable finance is becoming more than just ‘buzzwords’. Capital inflow into ESG-related funds more than doubled in 2021 compared to the previous year and analysts expect ESG AUM to reach c20% of Global AUM or $33.9trn by 2026 ($18.4trn 2021) according to PwC.   

Ross Youngs, Chief Commercial Officer at Belasko, identifies how to navigate the rising waters, the impact on our clients and the business’ proactive approach to lead the way.  

How are our clients impacted? 

Our fund clients are impacted to varying degrees depending on their size and marketing plans. Many share our proactive approach and have, generally speaking, adopted two different routes depending on the level of regulation required. This includes:  

  1. The Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR).   
  2. The Principles for Responsible Investing (PRI) : – Where SFDR has not been relevant, our clients have chosen voluntary compliance with the PRI. (The PRI is a set of ESG principles developed by investors to have a positive sustainable impact in the global financial system.) 

Unpacking the SFDR 

There are three levels of regulation applicable to funds marketed in Europe under the SFDR:    

Article 9 covers funds that have a sustainable objective /outcome. They have strict requirements on how they achieve their goals. There has been a great deal of focus on this category of fund and as such, the burden of evidential reporting is very high. This has led to c40% or $175bn of article 9 funds reclassifying to article 8.   

Article 8 is for funds that promote positive environment, social and governance characteristics but do not have those as their overarching objectives.   

Meanwhile, article 6 is for funds that do not integrate any kind of sustainability into their investment.  

These three levels of regulation can be considered stepping stones depending on where the business or fund is on its ESG journey.  

How has ESG impacted Belasko?  

The team and I at Belasko recognise that ESG has several positive impacts when successfully incorporated into business strategy. We are not required by regulation to report on sustainability however, we have chosen to partner with Terra Instinct to create a Responsible Business Policy.   

We have dedicated resources to steward the implementation of our policy which requires a group-wide committee, the definition of sustainable metrics relevant to Belasko, measurement and target setting. This resource also includes an annual report for clients and investors on our sustainable journey.    

I envisage that businesses like ours will soon have mandatory reporting on ESG areas in years to come. We deem it essential to be a leader in this area and will continue taking proactive efforts to stay ahead of the curve.  

How can we help you?  

No matter the complexity of compliance with the PRI or SFDR, there are common challenges with which we can assist.   

  1. The first challenge is defining a policy of responsible investment. The policy must consider the fund’s impact on ESG factors and then set appropriate data points with which to measure and track positive impact according to the goals set.   
  2. Data collection sounds easy, but it is not standardised across markets and countries so the sophistication and resource availability of portfolio companies to stream up the data sets can vary considerably. This is a major hurdle for our clients.  
  3. Regulation and investor demand are evolving at pace. Our clients do not usually have internal resources to dedicate to ESG and therefore rely on Belasko to keep them advised as to what’s next and how to remain compliant.  

Belasko has developed an end-to-end solution in partnership with Terra Instinct to power auditable data collection. It is helpful to have a specialist like Terra Instinct to define policy and collect, validate and where data is not available provide reasonable industry estimates. The benefit of having an advisory expert is of critical importance to ensure data quality, meaning it is auditable and reporting to investors (on which decisions are made) is accurate and reliable.   


It should be clear by now that ESG is not going anywhere and there is a market expectation to consider sustainability in our personal and business lives. We must adopt positive impacting principles going forward.  

If you would like to get ahead of the curve and prepare yourself for the ESG future, get in touch with Ross at [email protected]. 

Channel Islands Cricket League returns with new sponsor

Following a three-year break, Guernsey Cricket and Jersey Cricket can announce the return of the Channel Islands Cricket League to the inter-insular cricket calendar. The combined league will also welcome Belasko as the title sponsor for the next two years.  

The previous iteration of the pan-island cricket league was ceased in 2019 due to the global pandemic with current champions ATF St Ouen Springfield taking the crown in a hard-fought victory over Farmers Caesareans.

Commenting on the deal for Guernsey Cricket, CEO Mark Latter said, “It has been great to work with Lee Meloy and Sarah Gomersall in Jersey to bring the return of the Belasko Channel Island Cricket League. There is excited anticipation at the renewing of rivalries at inter-insular club level. To be able to attract a title sponsor of the profile of Belasko speaks volumes for the interest such cross water fixtures can create.” 

Sarah Gomersall, Jersey Cricket CEO, added “The Belasko Channel Island Cricket League will add more variety and healthy competition to our club cricket calendar. Securing the return of inter-island club cricket has been a top priority for us. We are delighted to have secured Belasko as the title sponsor for the next two years and thank them for their assistance.” 

Paul Lawrence, Group Managing Director at Belasko, said: “The team at Belasko is committed to supporting our local communities and we’re pleased that our support will help the Channel Islands Cricket League get back off the ground after three years. We are thrilled to bring our two Channel Island offices together for a summer of cricket.” 

The Belasko Channel Island Cricket League of course relies on inter-island travel and timings to suit a cricket match and Guernsey and Jersey Cricket wish to extend their thanks to Brent Blondel, and all at Blue Islands, for their work and flexibility in creating the required flight schedules to allow the matches to take place. 

Fixtures are scheduled to commence earlier than usual with the first game 27th May and they run through various weekends until the Final to be held in Jersey on 26th August. More information on the Belasko Channel Island Cricket League can be found at or CLICK HERE.