Event recap: Private Markets Conference 2023 

30 October 2023

A day of knowledge, experience, and peer connections unfolded on September 26th at the Zunfthaus zur Meisen in Zurich. The Swiss Private Markets Conference 2023, an exclusive gathering of institutional investors, exceeded expectations by fostering discussions, deepening insights, and forming lasting bonds.

The location provided an ideal setting for the event's intellectual journey. Tobias Wolf, Wealth Leader and Head Investments for Mercer Switzerland, extended a warm welcome to all attendees, and Garvan McCarthy gave an economic recap and outlook to the attendees, including CIOs, CEOs and wealth management leaders. Some guests had travelled internationally, representing a wide range of global financial expertise. Local experts intertwined their insights with the global perspectives of thought leaders from Mercer and Oliver Wyman, enriching our collective knowledge.

The event’s format was tailored to encourage meaningful connections and in-depth discussions. Roundtable sessions allowed for candid exchanges of practical advice and real-world experiences. Kamil Kaczmarski and Tobias Wolf held the roundtable session about wealth management trends, while Walter Reinl, David Morrow and William Gibbon talked about insurance trends and Philipp Weber, Richard Koeppel and Benjamin Baumann were discussing the pension fund trends. The exclusivity of the event ensured that every voice was heard, every interaction meaningful, and every connection was authentic. These discussions explored the core of private markets, addressing the challenges of navigating volatile environments and adapting strategies in a dynamic world.

The breakout session on Private Equity, Infrastructure, and Impact delivered intriguing insights. Ania Manczyk, Principal and private equity expert, highlighted the remarkable resilience of private equity investments, demonstrating strong performance even in economic downturns and their ability to maintain operational excellence amidst rising interest rates.

Julia Schiffer, Head of Infrastructure Europe at Mercer Alternatives, delivered a comprehensive overview of the infrastructure asset class. Unlisted infrastructure investments have proven to be outstanding performers, offering enticing opportunities across diverse sectors and geographic regions. They align seamlessly with current societal trends, offering robust returns that enhance portfolio diversification while providing tangible ESG metrics. Notably, the growing popularity of secondaries and co-investments is driven by their ability to mitigate the J-curve effect and reduce fees.

The topic of impact investing, covered by Angelika Delen and Matthieu Mougeot, is gaining increasing attention. While raising awareness about the impact of investments is important, measuring impact can be complex, requiring well-defined impact ambitions, often linked to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and it is crucial to understand the outcome and monitor the results.

The event was concluded by a CIO panel moderated by Benjamin Baumann and featuring Alexandre Tavazzi, Frank Wigger, Matthias Henny and Sébastien Dirren. With around CHF 200 billion in assets represented on the stage, the CIOs offered diverse perspectives on their companies and how they are navigating today's market situation.

As the Swiss Private Markets Conference 2023 came to an end, the value of the discussions and connections made continued to resonate. This event was not a one-time affair but rather a significant milestone in promoting well-informed decision-making, innovative strategies, and a broad network without geographic boundaries.

The influence of the September 26th event is expected to extend into boardroom deliberations, strategy meetings, and industry conversations. The aim of the Swiss Private Markets Conference 2023 was to play a pivotal role in catalyzing the future of institutional investment by uniting knowledge, experience, and collaboration.

We're thrilled about next year's event and eager to delve into discussions about all the enhancements and changes that will follow. 
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