Until now, learning just the basics of the heady world of alternative assets meant taking higher level college courses or landing an entry-level job. Or both.

Last week Preqin announced the launch of Preqin Academy, a free fundamentals program intended to introduce students and early-career professionals to the essentials of the alternative assets industry.

“Our mission is to increase understanding within the alternatives industry, and providing high-quality educational resources for people taking the first steps in their career is fundamental to that,” said Preqin CEO Mark O’Hare. Headquartered in London, Preqin is a provider of data, analytics and insights to the alternative assets community.

The four lessons begin by describing alternative assets and exploring their history and significance. The remaining three cover the details of hedge funds, private capital and the basics of the five asset classes (private equity, real estate, private debt, infrastructure and natural resources).

Each lesson is written simply enough that anyone with a basic knowledge of financial markets will be able to understand the concepts. The emphasis on clarity and simplicity doesn’t come at the expense of objectivity. Discussing leverage, the lesson goes into the risks as well as the advantages.

Nor do the lessons ignore the industry’s challenges. In the section covering hedge fund fees, Preqin observes that, “hedge fund managers are facing mounting pressure to reduce fees.”

There are no tests and no registration. Each lesson is self-contained, making it easy to start a topic and return as often as a student wants.

Besides the Alternatives 101 lessons, Preqin has collected a few career oriented articles and access to a library of academic and other research into all aspects of alternative assets.

For those who want to pursue their training, Preqin has arranged discounts to more formal development programs through the University of Oxford and the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst Association.

Photo by Susan Q Yin on Unsplash


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Green Key

Virus Stalls Global IPO Activity

IPO activity that was on track to regain the momentum of the first quarter of 2018, may now end 2020’s Q1 just slightly better than last year.

EY’s quarterly Global Trends Report says the quarter ending today will show no more than 235 IPO deals. Better than 2019’s 211, but far short of the 323 reported in 2018. The dollar value also pales in comparison: $28.5 billion this year versus $48.7 two years ago.

“The unexpected and novel events surrounding COVID-19 took a toll on the global health of equity markets,” says Paul Go, EY global IPO leader, “and together with other global market factors, have caused market turbulence last seen only during the global financial crisis of 2008.

“This extreme market volatility makes any ambitions to go public highly uncertain, both in terms of timing and valuation.” 

Surprisingly, given that China was the first to experience the effects of the coronavirus, the nation accounted for 90 IPO deals worth $13.2 billion. Asia-Pacific overall was responsible for 160 deals totaling $16.8 billion, a 28% and 110% increase respectively compared with Q1 2019.

EY Asia-Pacific IPO Leader Ringo Choi, noting that Covid-19 had “some impact on IPO activity,” predicted that “with government policies and economic stimulus packages in place, IPO markets should see some improvement in the quarters to come.”

In the Americas, where the US accounted for 24 IPOs worth $7.3 billion, “Covid-19 and oil tensions have largely dried up IPO activity for now, ” observed Jackie Kelley, EY Americas IPO leader. She added that “The IPO pipeline is growing, as issuers look for opportunities to be prepared for calmer and more conducive markets.”

Despite that optimism, the EY report announcement says, ” IPO markets are not expected to quickly rebound in Q2 2020. However, while Q3 is typically a slower time of the year, there may be increased IPO activity as the market attempts a reset and the global pipeline looks for the next IPO window.”


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Green Key

5 Reasons Not to Accept a Counteroffer

Even though a counteroffer may seem attractive, there are many reasons why you should not accept one. Here are 5 reasons you shouldn’t accept a counteroffer.