Aberdeen Standard: value can be found in lesser-known funds

A 'flood of capital' in secondaries has pushed up valuations for flow names, according to the investment firm's Asia-Pacific private equity co-head.

Aberdeen Standard Investments, the asset management business of UK insurer Standard Life Investments and Aberdeen Asset Management – now called Standard Life Aberdeen – is focusing on non-flow name funds in Asia amid the high pricing environment.

“There’s a flood of capital in the secondaries space, which has significantly pushed up valuations for flow names,” Wen Tan, co-head of private equity Asia-Pacific at Aberdeen Standard, told sister publication Private Equity International. “Conversely, pockets of good value still exist in lesser-known funds where information disparities are wider.”

Aberdeen has also been shifting its secondaries strategy to “seasoned primaries” in an environment where pricing is unattractive, John Dickie, co-head of US private equity at Aberdeen, said in June.

The investment firm is also focusing more on co-investments, according to Tan. Up to 25 percent of Aberdeen’s private equity portfolio, which stands at more than $14 billion, may be invested into co-investments, the fund of funds manager indicated in its latest annual report.

Tan said the merger with Standard Life has not had a material effect on the investment strategy in Asia and that firm is “currently busy investing and integrating”. He added that earlier entities – Aberdeen Private Equity and SL Capital Partners (Standard Life’s Europe-focused private markets arm) – are complementary with no overlap in Asia and minimal overlap in the US.

Aberdeen Asset Management and Standard Life completed their merger on 14 August, resulting in a combined investment business worth £583 billion ($762 billion; €638 billion) of assets, making it Europe’s second largest asset manager.