Make a blog

Kevin Mounts

3 days ago

Mercury Capital Advisors in Singapore - Alan Pardee Quoted in Buyouts

 

It’s always hard for a fledgling private equity firm to raise a debut fund, though LPs for the past few years have been more willing to explore relationships with first timers. This was a product of a strong fundraising environment and LPs flush with capital from distributions looking for returns in new places.

 

Last year, however, that environment changed, and raising a first-time fund became more challenging than it’s been for several years. LPs’ desire for first-time funds is expected to continue to diminish this year.

 

A total of 153 first-time private equity funds closed last year, with aggregate capital of $16.7 billion, according to Preqin. That is the lowest number of first-time funds closed since before 2005, the first year Preqin starting tracking first-timers.

 

For comparison, in 2014, 226 first-time funds closed on an aggregate of $20 billion. In fact, over 200 first-time funds closed in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014. Peak years for first-time fundraising tracked the overall private equity fundraising market, with 2008 leading the pack with 277 first-time funds closed with an aggregate of $41 billion.

 

Overall private equity fundraising slowed last year to $303.1 billion across 740 funds, Preqin said. That was down from the $333.9 billion across 915 funds in 2014. The peak was in 2007, when 967 funds raised $412.3 billion.

 

Big money

 

Although last year was tough, a few first-time funds enjoyed strong fundraisings. Silversmith Capital Partners, formed by executives from Bain Capital Ventures and Spectrum Equity, closed its debut fund last year on $460 million. Fund I beat its target by 30 percent and closed in just over three months.

 

Another firm that appears to be having a strong first-time fundraising is Gamut Capital Management, a spin-out from Apollo Global Management. Gamut launched in late August with a $750 million target and recently held a first close on about $500 million, according to a person with knowledge of the firm.

 

But that is not the typical experience for many first-timers. OpenGate Capital, which has been around since 2005, has so far raised about $300 million on its first institutional fund, which is capped at $350 million, according to an LP who is familiar with the firm. OpenGate began talking to LPs about the fund in 2014 (it’s not clear when it officially launched.)

 

For OpenGate, one LP who met with the firm wondered about the firm’s ability to invest the larger fund, after many years of investment in smaller deals. A spokeswoman for OpenGate declined to comment.

 

Other concerns LPs have with first-timers include transparency of track record, stability of team and the amount of time the partners have worked together, not to mention whether their stated strategy makes sense.

 

“I’ve never seen a first-time fund that says it’s easy out there; it’s not uncommon to take several years to get a first-time fund raised,” said Andrea Auerbach, managing director at Cambridge Associates.

4 days ago

Attorney General Warns of Holiday Scams Security and Risk Online

Attorney General Warns of Holiday Scams Security and Risk Online

COLUMBUS, Ohio —Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine warned consumers of scams to avoid this holiday season.

 

“Scams don’t take a break during the holidays, and when people are busy or distracted, they may be more likely to fall for a scam,” Attorney General DeWine said. “We just encourage people to be careful. Take a few minutes to think, and if something doesn’t seem right, don’t do it.”

 

Scams to avoid this holiday season include:

 

Seasonal job scams. Job seekers find an ad for a mystery shopping or package shipping position where they can work from home. They complete an online “interview” over chat or email. Once they’re selected for the job, they receive a check. They’re told to deposit the check and immediately wire a portion of the money somewhere else. Ultimately, the check is returned as counterfeit, and the job seeker loses any money he or she has sent.

 

Package delivery scams. Consumers receive a message saying a package is waiting for them. The “package” turns out to be a phony notice claiming they’ve won millions of dollars but must send money to redeem the prize (In reality, the prize does not exist). In another variation of the scam, consumers receive an email or text message with instructions to click a link for the status of a package delivery. Although the message looks real, it’s a scam designed to trick consumers into clicking on the link and infecting their device with malicious software.

 

Advance-fee loan scams. Consumers apply for a loan online, but they’re told they need to pay a few hundred dollars in advance to secure the loan. They send the money but never receive anything in return.

 

Online shopping scams. Con artists pose as sellers online, taking money for items they never deliver. For example, in the “puppy scam,” consumers find an ad for a puppy on social media or classified ad websites like Craigslist or Hoobly. They pay the “seller” hundreds or thousands of dollars, supposedly to cover shipping fees, crate costs, insurance payments, or veterinary bills, but they never receive anything in return.

 

Charity scams. Con artists pretend to represent real charities, soliciting consumers by phone, online, or outside stores or malls. They make vague, phony claims about supporting a worthwhile cause and collect donations on the spot, but they keep the money for themselves.

 

 

1 month ago

Coalition Against Insurance Fraud: Zero tolerance of fraud?

Coalition Against Insurance Fraud: Zero tolerance of fraud?

Strengthening backbone rewards insurers, customers

 

Zero tolerance is an popular catchphrase for insurers to bandy around. It implies a blanket boycott of dubious claims, the marshaling of an insurer’s full resources at every turn.

 

In practice, zero tolerance is a moving target. Few insurers can assert they contest every dubious claim. Even the most principled insurers decide which claims to challenge, and which to let slide through.

 

Focusing limited staff resources on a complex staged-crash ring that’s stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars might make more sense, from an insurer’s standpoint, than taking on a handful of smaller homeowner claims that prosecutors likely aren’t interested in pursuing.

 

Perhaps paying a $5,000 nuisance claim from a clearly setup fall in a restaurant makes more sense, as an insurer sees it, than spending many times that amount in legals fees to defend against the determined crook’s civil suit. A sympathetic jury could dole out $500,000 to the swindler, who’s faking a convincing limp in court. Just pay off the guy and make his claim go away.

 

That said, one of best business cases for zero tolerance recently was mapped by former CNA chief claims officer George Fay. He writes movingly in the Journal of Insurance Fraud in America.

 

“Most claim denials for fraud result in a lawsuit against the company, no matter how solid your case,” George wrote soon after retiring. “A strong anti-fraud position can earn your insurer a reputation within the criminal underworld for being an undesirable target to try and bilk. This principled stance saves legal fees in the long run.”

 

And helps build customer loyalty: “When you make customers aware of your anti-fraud efforts, they see it for themselves and usually stay with you for life.

 

Zero tolerance also reflects an insurer’s character, from the leadership down through line staff. “An insurer that knowingly pays a fraudulent claim violates its values statement,” George writes. “And certainly the insurer lacks character. The same is true of insurer employees — from the SIU director to claims personnel to adjusters. Character is critical to building the foundation of successful fraud-fighting efforts.”

 

Zero tolerance — strengthen your backbone, stop false claims and reap rewards. George Fay writes an inspiring roadmap. Insurers should study that vision closely — your honest policyholders will be glad you did.

 

About the author: Jim Quiggle is director of communications for the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud.

1 year ago

Richard Isaacs MD - Kaiser health, wellness facility coming to Elk Grove

Richard Isaacs MD - Kaiser health, wellness facility coming to Elk Grove

On June 16, Kaiser Doctors and area leaders broke ground at what will eventually be the new Promenade Medical Office Building in south Elk Grove.

 

The two-story, 67,000- square-foot Kaiser Permanente facility will be designed to focus on matters affecting patients’ mind, body and soul.

 

It will feature a 50-meter outdoor sports track that will be part of a 4,000-square-foot Sports Medicine Center where athletes can be evaluated and rehabilitated.

 

In addition to the sports center, the medical office will also house adult medicine, pediatrics, women’s health, health education, radiology, laboratory and pharmacy services.

 

The building is scheduled to open in late 2011.

 

Elk Grove Mayor Sophia Scherman, Vice Mayor Steve Detrick, city council member Pat Hume, Dr. Richard Isaacs, M.D., and Dr. Lisa Liu, M.D., broke ground where the new facility will be built.

 

“Your presence in Elk Grove means more quality health and wellness for our residents,” Scherman said in a speech before they broke ground.

 

Dr. Isaacs and Dr. Liu also addressed thecrowd.

 

Liu said the building will be “thoughtfully designed” with soothing colors, local artwork and a coffee bistro inside.

 

“We’re committed to making our facility a one-stop shop,” she said.

 

The new office will have a Healthy Living store where members can buy health and wellness equipment.

 

“We’ve been looking forward to this for quite some time,” Isaacs said. “Driving through the community, we’re aware of the economic impact in this area.”

 

Liu echoed that statement in her speech, saying, “I’m sure it won’t be long until this facility is surrounded by retail stores and restaurants.”

 

The building will be adjacent to the vacant Elk Grove Promenade Mall site where construction halted due to developer General Growth Properties undergoing bankruptcy.

 

When Scherman addressed the crowd, she discussed the unfinished mall behind her. “Although there is no set date, the mall will open,” Scherman said; “hopefully, within two years, it will be completed.”

 

Kaiser is thinking about the future, Isaacs said.

 

“We’re really hoping this will stimulate this part of the region,” he said.

 

In the past 10 years, Kaiser has added 30,000 new area patients. This new facility will be able to accommodate the health needs of current and future members.

 

Since 1999, Kaiser began phasing out the use of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic in construction and implemented more environmentally friendly construction materials in their building designs.

 

The Promenade Medical Office Building will be built so that solar energy panels can be added in the future.

2 years ago

Homepage of Chicago Tokyo Group Medical Products Tokyo Japan

 

Since 1988

 

Chicago Tokyo Group has been helping healthcare companies to get a foothold in Japan – for more than 25 years.

 

Strategy and implementation

 

Blending strategic consulting with on-the-ground execution, CTG help clients accomplish a wide range of business objectives.

 

Define and execute

 

The Japanese market is challenging but stable. We help clients define and execute commercial strategies.

 

•    Resolve legal, regulatory or reimbursement problems
•    Select Japanese partners for development or licensing
•    Establish a fully-owned subsidiary in Japan