A confluence of factors is expanding access, bringing more investors and injecting additional liquidity to private markets. Here is what GPs and LPs had to say about emerging trends in this market:

Role of Private Markets

  • GPs are twice as likely as LPs to say that private markets provide excellent portfolio diversification.
  • The illiquidity premium is real, but it may shrink as liquidity options multiply in coming years.
  • Their usefulness in portfolio construction has regulators lowering barriers and expanding access.

Retail Access

  • 8 out of 10 GPs say non-accredited individuals should be able to invest in private markets.
  • Widespread scepticism around the future of private market mutual funds and ETFs is fading.
  • A variety of new funds are packaging private market assets for retail financial advisors and retirement plans.


  • Half of all survey participants will buy or sell secondaries this year…a huge jump from 2015.
  • Manager and investor views on valuations are increasingly aligned.
  • No longer stigmatised, secondaries are being used to actively manage portfolios.
  • A lack of transparency is preventing an even wider embrace of secondaries.

The Future

  • Intermediary roles are evolving to include transaction structuring and negotiations.
  • ESG and D&I are causing investors to restructure private market portfolios.
  • The jury is out on the long-term impact of blockchain technology.
  • Exchanges and trading platforms are widely expected to gain market share.

SEI partnered with Preqin and ANZU Research in late 2020 to survey GPs and LPs on trends in private market investments.

Designed as a follow-up to an earlier survey conducted in 2014–2015, this year’s survey placed particular emphasis on investor access, liquidity, transparency, and technology.

Data from online surveys was supplemented by insights gathered via in-depth personal interviews. More than 400 fund managers and investors took part in this research. We would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to all who participated.

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This information is provided for education purposes only and is not intended to provide legal or investment advice. SEI does not claim responsibility for the accuracy or reliability of the data provided. Information provided by SEI Global Services, Inc.