abrdn Private Equity Opportunities Trust plc

(formerly Standard Life Private Equity Trust plc)

Providing access to a diversified portfolio of private equity investments

Daily prices as of 16 May 2022

Share Price 465.00p

Estimated NAV including income 707.83p

Estimated NAV excluding income 702.38p

Dividend Yield 3.1%

Premium / (Discount) to NAV cum income -34.3%

Premium / (Discount) to NAV ex income -33.8%

About us

Find out more about our investment objective, approach, portfolio and performance.

Insights

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How to invest

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Latest news

An update from our investment manager, Alan Gauld - 4 May 2022

The last quarter has been an eventful and exciting period for the Company. Firstly, following shareholder approval at the AGM in March, it changed its name to abrdn Private Equity Opportunities (“APEO”) to align with the rebranding of the Manager. Also in March, APEO was included in the FTSE-250 index for the first time, on the back of its strong growth over the last 18 months. New investment activity has also continued at pace, particularly in relation to co-investment, which now equates to around 15% of NAV as at 31 March 2022 (5% in September 2020). Furthermore, the strong performance of the Company following the emergence of the global pandemic has continued, resulting in the NAV total return of 5.2% in the quarter to 31 December 2021.

APEO recently announced its actual NAV for the first quarter of the financial year, with 97.1% of the portfolio valuations dated 31 December 2021. The Company’s NAV increased by 4.7% to 705.2 pence per share from 673.8 pence per share at 30 September 2021. The Company’s net assets reached £1,084.2 million (30 September 2021 - £1,036.0 million) and the NAV total return (i.e. including dividends paid in the quarter) was 5.2% for the three months to 31 December 2021.

Discrete performance (%)

Year ending 31 Mar 22 31 Mar 21 31 Mar 20 31 Mar 19 31 Mar 18
Share price 22.4 78.8 (24.7) 12.7 10.8
NAV 27.1 37.2 3.0 12.7 9.2
FTSE All-Share Index 13.0 26.7 (18.5) 6.4 1.2

Past performance is not a guide to future results.

Profile

The abrdn Private Equity Opportunities Trust plc (“APEO” or “the Company”) provides investors with access to a diversified portfolio of leading private companies. The Company currently offers a progressive dividend just under 4% (it increases each year), rewarding shareholders for their patience as the portfolio value grows.

Investment objective

The investment objective is to achieve long-term total returns through holding a diversified portfolio of private equity funds and direct investments into private companies alongside private equity managers (“co-investments”), a majority of which will have a European focus.

APEO invests in private equity funds run by leading private equity managers who have the expertise to source, grow and sell private companies, delivering attractive investment returns. The funds invest in mature businesses primarily through management buy-out transactions. The portfolio will comprise a select group of active private equity funds, managed by our 17 core fund managers. In addition, the Company complements its fund portfolio by investing up to 25% of NAV in co-investments. APEO has a target of building an underlying portfolio of around 550 private companies.

How APEO invests in private equity
The Company can invest in three ways:

    i. The manager of a successful private equity fund will seek to raise fresh capital to invest typically every five years and the Company may commit to investing in such a fund. The fund will typically aim to acquire majority equity stakes in private companies commensurate with the fund’s strategy – this is known as primary investment;
    ii. Once a private equity fund has raised the fresh capital it seeks, no additional investors/commitments are permitted to increase the fund size. If an existing investor in that fund wishes to sell its position, the Company can negotiate to acquire that interest - this is known as a secondary transaction; and
    iii. In situations where the manager of a private equity fund seeks additional equity capital in order to make or supplement the acquisition of a portfolio company, certain investors in that fund may be offered the opportunity to invest directly into that private company alongside the fund and manager – this is known as a co-investment

Over time, the combination of these strategies is intended to deliver value to the Company’s shareholders. Irrespective of the type of investment, after a number of years the underlying private companies will generally be sold to industrial buyers, other private equity funds or exit through an IPO on listed markets. The cash proceeds from the sale of the private companies are returned to the Company and the investment cycle starts again.

About abrdn
The Trust's manager, SL Capital Partners, is abrdn dedicated private equity arm. We have fulfilled this role since the launch of the Trust in 2001 and have deployed a consistent strategy that gives shareholders access to a diversified portfolio of private company investments that generate attractive investment returns. Our team has decades of experience of investing in leading global private equity managers and can be relied upon to select the some of the best opportunities, supported by the broad resources of abrdn.

Key people

Alan Gauld

Alan Gauld

Investment director

Alan is an Investment Director in the abrdn Private Markets team. He is responsible for sourcing, evaluating and executing private equity investments, including primary fund investments and co-investments. Alan has a strong network and extensive experience with leading private equity funds, particularly pan-European and Iberian GPs. As such, Alan sits on a number of LP advisory committees across Europe. He joined the company in 2014 as part of the Scottish Widows Investment Partnership (SWIP) transaction. Prior to joining SWIP in 2013, Alan worked for Lloyds Banking Group in its private equity team. Alan holds a BSc (Hons) in Genetics from the University of Edinburgh and is a qualified chartered accountant.

Patricl Knechtli

Patrick Knechtli

Head of Secondaries

Based in Edinburgh, Patrick heads up the secondaries team of abrdn and is involved across the private markets activities of the firm. He joined predecessor firm SL Capital in 2009, which then merged with the company’s private markets business in 2017. Prior to joining, Patrick spent eight years at Coller Capital in London, where he worked on numerous secondary portfolio transactions. His early career consisted of seven years in investment banking, first at Baring Brothers and then at ABN Amro Corporate Finance. Patrick has a MA (Hons) in Modern Languages from the University of Exeter and is fluent in French and Spanish.

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Mark Nicolson

Head of Primary Investments

Mark is based in Edinburgh and joined the company in 2007. He is responsible for making investments across the private equity spectrum (Primaries, Secondaries and Co-investments) as well as having overall responsibility for abrdn’s Primary Investment business. Mark is a member of abrdn’s Private Equity Operating Committee and Investment Committee. He also sits on the Advisory Boards of a number of leading private equity funds. Prior to the merger of Aberdeen Asset Management and Standard Life Investments in 2017, Mark was a Partner and Head of Primary Investments at SL Capital Partners where he joined in 2007. Before this, Mark spent seven years working as a lead adviser in the corporate finance teams of EY and KPMG, focusing principally on buyouts. Mark is a Chartered Accountant and has BA (Joint Honours) degrees in Accounting and Economics from the University of Strathclyde. Mark is also a Fellow of the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment.

Simon Tyszko

Simon Tyszko

Portfolio Director

Simon is a Portfolio Director at abrdn. Simon joined abrdn in 2014 as an Investment Analyst in Private Equity and has subsequently held positions as an Investment Manager and his current role as Portfolio Director. He is responsible for the investment team's portfolio management function, implementation of new systems and technology and development of processes. He leads abrdn's Private Equity Research function. Simon is a CFA Charterholder and has a First Class MEng (Honours) in Aeronautical Engineering from the University of Glasgow.

Ramone Moody

Ramone Moody

Senior Investment Analyst

Ramone is a Senior Investment Analyst in the abrdn Private Equity team. Based in Edinburgh, he is involved in the sourcing, evaluation and execution of private equity investments, with a particular focus on secondaries investments. Ramone is also responsible for maintaining and developing GP relationships across Central and Eastern Europe and the Iberia region. Ramone joined the abrdn Private Equity team in 2017, having initially joined the firm in 2015 as part of the graduate programme working across a range of asset classes. Ramone holds an MA (Hons) in Economics from the University of Edinburgh and is CFA Charterholder.

  • Alan Gauld

    Alan Gauld

    Investment director

    Alan is an Investment Director in the abrdn Private Markets team. He is responsible for sourcing, evaluating and executing private equity investments, including primary fund investments and co-investments. Alan has a strong network and extensive experience with leading private equity funds, particularly pan-European and Iberian GPs. As such, Alan sits on a number of LP advisory committees across Europe. He joined the company in 2014 as part of the Scottish Widows Investment Partnership (SWIP) transaction. Prior to joining SWIP in 2013, Alan worked for Lloyds Banking Group in its private equity team. Alan holds a BSc (Hons) in Genetics from the University of Edinburgh and is a qualified chartered accountant.

  • Patricl Knechtli

    Patrick Knechtli

    Head of Secondaries

    Based in Edinburgh, Patrick heads up the secondaries team of abrdn and is involved across the private markets activities of the firm. He joined predecessor firm SL Capital in 2009, which then merged with the company’s private markets business in 2017. Prior to joining, Patrick spent eight years at Coller Capital in London, where he worked on numerous secondary portfolio transactions. His early career consisted of seven years in investment banking, first at Baring Brothers and then at ABN Amro Corporate Finance. Patrick has a MA (Hons) in Modern Languages from the University of Exeter and is fluent in French and Spanish.

  • noimage

    Mark Nicolson

    Head of Primary Investments

    Mark is based in Edinburgh and joined the company in 2007. He is responsible for making investments across the private equity spectrum (Primaries, Secondaries and Co-investments) as well as having overall responsibility for abrdn’s Primary Investment business. Mark is a member of abrdn’s Private Equity Operating Committee and Investment Committee. He also sits on the Advisory Boards of a number of leading private equity funds. Prior to the merger of Aberdeen Asset Management and Standard Life Investments in 2017, Mark was a Partner and Head of Primary Investments at SL Capital Partners where he joined in 2007. Before this, Mark spent seven years working as a lead adviser in the corporate finance teams of EY and KPMG, focusing principally on buyouts. Mark is a Chartered Accountant and has BA (Joint Honours) degrees in Accounting and Economics from the University of Strathclyde. Mark is also a Fellow of the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment.

  • Simon Tyszko

    Simon Tyszko

    Portfolio Director

    Simon is a Portfolio Director at abrdn. Simon joined abrdn in 2014 as an Investment Analyst in Private Equity and has subsequently held positions as an Investment Manager and his current role as Portfolio Director. He is responsible for the investment team's portfolio management function, implementation of new systems and technology and development of processes. He leads abrdn's Private Equity Research function. Simon is a CFA Charterholder and has a First Class MEng (Honours) in Aeronautical Engineering from the University of Glasgow.

  • Ramone Moody

    Ramone Moody

    Senior Investment Analyst

    Ramone is a Senior Investment Analyst in the abrdn Private Equity team. Based in Edinburgh, he is involved in the sourcing, evaluation and execution of private equity investments, with a particular focus on secondaries investments. Ramone is also responsible for maintaining and developing GP relationships across Central and Eastern Europe and the Iberia region. Ramone joined the abrdn Private Equity team in 2017, having initially joined the firm in 2015 as part of the graduate programme working across a range of asset classes. Ramone holds an MA (Hons) in Economics from the University of Edinburgh and is CFA Charterholder.

Alan Devine

Alan Devine

Chairman

Alan Devine was appointed on 28 May 2014, and assumed the role of Chairman on 22 March 2022. Alan holds an MBA and is a Fellow of the Institute of Bankers in Scotland. He was formerly CEO of the Royal Bank of Scotland Shipping Group and has a wide background of knowledge and over 40 years' experience in both commercial and investment banking. Alan is a Non-Executive Director of Irish company Capitalflow Holdings DAC where he is Chairman of the Remuneration and Audit Committees. Alan is also Chairman of the private equity owned Irish based cash logistics company known as GSLS.
Diane Seymour Williams

Diane Seymour-Williams

Non-Executive Director

Diane Seymour-Williams was appointed on 7 June 2017. Diane is a Non-executive Director of Mercia Asset Management PLC and PraxisIFM Group Limited, and is a Director of Acorn Capital Advisers Limited. Diane worked at Deutsche Asset Management Group (previously Morgan Grenfell) for 23 years where she held various senior positions, including CIO and CEO of Asia. More recently, she spent nine years at LGM Investments, a specialist global emerging and frontier markets equities manager, where she was Global Head of Relationship Management. She is a pro-bono member of the Investment Committees of Newnham College, Cambridge and the Canal & River Trust.

Calum Thomson

Calum Thomson

Senior Independent Director

Calum Thomson was appointed on 30 November 2017, and assumed the role of Senior Independent Director on 22 March 2022. Calum is a qualified chartered accountant and was an audit partner with Deloitte LLP for over 21 years. Calum is a Non-executive Director and the Audit Committee chair of the Diverse Income Trust plc, the AVI Global Trust plc and Baring Emerging EMEA Opportunities plc. He is also a Non-executive Director and Audit Committee chair of BLME Holdings Limited and Bank of London and The Middle East plc.

Dugald Agble

Dugald Agble

Non-Executive Director

Dugald Agble was appointed on 1 September 2021. Dugald holds a PhD in Chemical Engineering from Imperial College London and has over 20 years direct investment experience in Private Equity. He started his career at Nomura Principal Finance Group, which later evolved into Terra Firma Capital Partners. More recently, Dugald has been involved in investing in emerging and frontier markets at Helios Investment Partners and 8 Miles. Dugald is a Supervisory Board Member at FMO, the Dutch finance institution.

Yvonne Stillhart

Yvonne Stillhart

Non-Executive Director

Yvonne Stillhart was appointed on 1 September 2021. Yvonne was a co-founding Senior Partner and member of the Investment Committee of Akina AG, a Swiss based specialised private equity manager which merged in 2017 with Unigestion S.A. She has over 30 years senior executive experience in business building, transformational leadership, private equity and infrastructure investment, finance, banking as well as risk- and investment management across broad industries and geographical regions.

Yvonne serves currently as a non-executive Director and member of the Audit and Risk committee at UBS Asset Management Switzerland Ltd., and is the Chairperson and member of the Social and Ethics committee of the South African EPE Capital Ltd. She is also a non-executive Director of Integrated Diagnostics Holdings plc and is a member of both the Audit and Remuneration committees.

Yvonne holds a Director Certificate from Harvard Business School and the ESG Competent Boards Certificate. She is fluent in German, English, Spanish and French.

  • Alan Devine

    Alan Devine

    Chairman

    Alan Devine was appointed on 28 May 2014, and assumed the role of Chairman on 22 March 2022. Alan holds an MBA and is a Fellow of the Institute of Bankers in Scotland. He was formerly CEO of the Royal Bank of Scotland Shipping Group and has a wide background of knowledge and over 40 years' experience in both commercial and investment banking. Alan is a Non-Executive Director of Irish company Capitalflow Holdings DAC where he is Chairman of the Remuneration and Audit Committees. Alan is also Chairman of the private equity owned Irish based cash logistics company known as GSLS.
  • Diane Seymour Williams

    Diane Seymour-Williams

    Non-Executive Director

    Diane Seymour-Williams was appointed on 7 June 2017. Diane is a Non-executive Director of Mercia Asset Management PLC and PraxisIFM Group Limited, and is a Director of Acorn Capital Advisers Limited. Diane worked at Deutsche Asset Management Group (previously Morgan Grenfell) for 23 years where she held various senior positions, including CIO and CEO of Asia. More recently, she spent nine years at LGM Investments, a specialist global emerging and frontier markets equities manager, where she was Global Head of Relationship Management. She is a pro-bono member of the Investment Committees of Newnham College, Cambridge and the Canal & River Trust.

  • Calum Thomson

    Calum Thomson

    Senior Independent Director

    Calum Thomson was appointed on 30 November 2017, and assumed the role of Senior Independent Director on 22 March 2022. Calum is a qualified chartered accountant and was an audit partner with Deloitte LLP for over 21 years. Calum is a Non-executive Director and the Audit Committee chair of the Diverse Income Trust plc, the AVI Global Trust plc and Baring Emerging EMEA Opportunities plc. He is also a Non-executive Director and Audit Committee chair of BLME Holdings Limited and Bank of London and The Middle East plc.

  • Dugald Agble

    Dugald Agble

    Non-Executive Director

    Dugald Agble was appointed on 1 September 2021. Dugald holds a PhD in Chemical Engineering from Imperial College London and has over 20 years direct investment experience in Private Equity. He started his career at Nomura Principal Finance Group, which later evolved into Terra Firma Capital Partners. More recently, Dugald has been involved in investing in emerging and frontier markets at Helios Investment Partners and 8 Miles. Dugald is a Supervisory Board Member at FMO, the Dutch finance institution.

  • Yvonne Stillhart

    Yvonne Stillhart

    Non-Executive Director

    Yvonne Stillhart was appointed on 1 September 2021. Yvonne was a co-founding Senior Partner and member of the Investment Committee of Akina AG, a Swiss based specialised private equity manager which merged in 2017 with Unigestion S.A. She has over 30 years senior executive experience in business building, transformational leadership, private equity and infrastructure investment, finance, banking as well as risk- and investment management across broad industries and geographical regions.

    Yvonne serves currently as a non-executive Director and member of the Audit and Risk committee at UBS Asset Management Switzerland Ltd., and is the Chairperson and member of the Social and Ethics committee of the South African EPE Capital Ltd. She is also a non-executive Director of Integrated Diagnostics Holdings plc and is a member of both the Audit and Remuneration committees.

    Yvonne holds a Director Certificate from Harvard Business School and the ESG Competent Boards Certificate. She is fluent in German, English, Spanish and French.

Financial calendar

Year End 30 September
Accounts published January
Annual General Meeting March
Dividend Paid January, April, July, October

Trust details

abrdn Private Equity Opportunities Trust plc

1 George Street
Edinburgh EH2 2LL
United Kingdom

Registered in Scotland as an Investment Company Number SC216638

Launch Date: 29 May 2001

Investment Manager

SL Capital Partners LLP
1 George Street
Edinburgh EH2 2LL
United Kingdom

Registrars
Equiniti Limited
Aspect House
Spencer Road
Lancing
West Sussex
BN99 6DA

Risk warning
Risk warning
The value of investments and the income from them can go down as well as up and you may get back less than the amount invested. Please refer to the relevant Key Information Document (KID) prior to making an investment decision. Please be aware of scams that can affect investors.