For the second year in a row, Axon named by Preqin in the “Top 5” of the firms with the best returns in European alternative assets.

Preqin, the largest provider of financial data, analysis and information on alternative assets markets, elaborates an annual report on Alternative Assets in Europe, that reflects the industry’s developments and highlights the main players within the different asset classes: private equity, venture capital, hedge funds, private debt, real estate, infrastructure, natural resources and secondaries.

Axon appears as the fourth best European Venture Capital fund manager by consistency of returns. It is the first and only Spanish manager to make the ranking, with two of its three most recent funds in the top quartile for IRR performance, earning its fourth spot in Preqin’s consistent top-performing private equity fund manager league table with an average of 1.33.

The “Top 10” of the list is complemented by such prestigious managers as Index Ventures – a benchmark manager in European and global CF – in sixth position, and the German fund SwanCap Partners in tenth place.

Based on the Preqin report, the number of active private equity managers in Europe stands at 3,981, more than double that of any other alternative market. In 2019, Nearly 5,000 private equity-backed buyout and venture capital transactions were completed, ahead of private real estate with 2,488 deals.

The crisis caused by the current pandemic has not stopped the large European GPs, which have managed to remain firm, despite the economic situation, in solving the problems faced by the companies in their portfolio.

This is especially reflected in the Venture capital space, where in the first half of 2020, 1,301 deals were completed, representing a combined value of  €12.9bn, figures that equate to 43% and 49% of full-year 2019 totals respectively.

In total, 117 Europe-focused funds closed in H1 2020, raising an aggregate €50bn. The amount achieved to date is on track to equal last year’s £95bn. In fact, the figure for the second half of the year is expected to increase significantly, with several of the leading fund managers currently raising capital for new large funds.

According to Preqin’s analysis, the private equity and venture capital fund managers with the most consistent returns in Europe are Hollyport Capital (UK), ATP Private Equity Partners (Denmark), Ufenau Capital Partners (Switzerland), Axon Partners Group (Spain), Egeria Capital Management (Netherlands) and Index Ventures (UK/US).

In the case of Southern Europe, private equity is also the largest alternative asset class in terms of the number of active managers – a total of 478 -, followed by real estate with only 106. However, the added value of transactions in 2019 was led by infrastructure assets (EUR 27bn), followed by traditional venture capital – buyout (EUR 15bn). VC ranked fourth and next-to-last, with EUR 1.4bn of value added transactions during 2019. For the first half of 2020, the figures follow the same pattern. It can therefore be deduced that venture capital still has a lot of growth potential in the southern European region.

In the case of Spain, as of December 2019, the alternative assets managed are €26bn, of which €8.7bn of private capital represents more than a third.

Although investment slowed across all asset classes in Spain, venture capital and infrastructure have weathered the pandemic best, recording 60 and 53 transactions respectively in H1 2020.

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