mallowstreet University Digital Investment Focus: Direct Lending and Private Markets

Pardon the Interruption

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This morning we resisted the urge to get outside into the sunshine of a very belated spring, and instead gathered once again on our Zoom screens to explore the world of Direct Lending and Private Markets.
Firstly we heard from Franklin Templeton, represented by Gaston Brandes and Dean Heaney, who took us through their offering for Social Infrastructure projects. This offering provides a 'dual return' in that investors are able to access long-term, stable cashflows as well as ensuring social impact to local communities by investing in schools, hospitals and social housing for example. Gaston illustrated this with a number of case studies of recent investments around Europe.
We also heard from Laura Vaughan and Kate Hillyar from Federated Hermes, who hosted a fascinating session on how direct lending, which is low risk, can be used by investors to effect positive change. They outlined the strategic role they play which can deliver performance benefits to investors. Against the backdrop of the global pandemic, it is vital for small and middle market companies to access capital, as the debt of large-market companies is more commonly traded in the public markets. Investing in this asset class can offer blended value, in that investors can help companies meet goals for ESG, whilst meeting their own varying risk/return goals.
There was some great engagement from a very experienced audience who grilled the presenters on their investment propositions.
If you were with us for this event, what were your key thoughts and take-aways from these two presentations? It would be good to continue the conversation on here!