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Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Three-quarters of limited partners in private equity funds say they want more opportunities to interact directly with one another, according to a Coller Capital survey released Monday.

Why it matters: LPs have historically been siloed, thus giving them less leverage and visibility when negotiating terms with general partners.

Flashback: In 2009 I organized something called the LP Congress, a one-day series of working groups in NYC for pension, endowment, family office, and fund-of-funds managers.

  • The most notable takeaway was how few of the hundred or so attendees had ever met each other before.

Today: Things don't appear to have changed too much, despite a decade in which LP complaints about fund fees have been bolstered by a cavalcade of regulatory fines.

  • Coller Capital, which surveyed 107 global LPs between February and March, discovered that 61% of European respondents and 50% of North American respondents want more opportunities to interact with other LPs invested in the same funds as they are.
  • A whopping 80% of North American LPs want more chances to interact with LPs outside of their region, while 47% want more chances to interact with LPs inside of their region.

What's the problem? General partners, particularly in how they rarely provide LPs with lists of what other institutions are invested in their funds.

  • Such information can eventually be gleaned via attendance at annual LP meetings, but GPs are known to position their own staffers so as to be in the middle of even informal LP conversations during coffee breaks.
  • Certain LPs are effectively prevented from even attending such meetings, due to either budgetary concerns or, in the case of public fund managers, regulations against accepting such "gifts" as a high-priced meal.
  • And then there's the pandemic, which makes any sort of physical meetings more difficult and international meetings nearly impossible.

Caveat: Coller did find that 82% of LPs are now satisfied by the level of transparency provided to them by GPs, up from a pitiful 40% back in the summer of 2009.

  • Plus, LPs today have a whole host of video, networking and encrypted chat options that didn't exist 11 years ago.

The bottom line: General partners may be barriers to LP interaction, but LPs must do a better job at hurdling them.

Go deeper

Biden Cabinet confirmation schedule: When to watch hearings

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on Jan. 16 in Wilmington, Delaware. Photo: Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images

The first hearings for President-elect Joe Biden's Cabinet nominations begin on Tuesday, with testimony from his picks to lead the departments of State, Homeland and Defense.

Why it matters: It's been a slow start for a process that usually takes place days or weeks earlier for incoming presidents. The first slate of nominees will appear on Tuesday before a Republican-controlled Senate, but that will change once the new Democratic senators-elect from Georgia are sworn in.

Kamala Harris resigns from Senate seat ahead of inauguration

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. Photo: Mason Trinca/Getty Images

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris submitted her resignation from her seat in the U.S. Senate on Monday, two days before she will be sworn into her new role.

What's next: California Gov. Gavin Newsom has selected California Secretary of State Alex Padilla to serve out the rest of Harris' term, which ends in 2022.

4 hours ago - World

Putin foe Navalny to be detained for 30 days after returning to Moscow

Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny. Photo: Oleg Nikishin/Epsilon/Getty Images

Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny has been ordered to remain in pre-trial detention for 30 days, following his arrest upon returning to Russia on Sunday for the first time since a failed assassination attempt last year.

Why it matters: The detention of Navalny, an anti-corruption activist and the most prominent domestic critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, has already set off a chorus of condemnations from leaders in Europe and the U.S.

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