Research - JANUARY 20, 2021

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Secondary market volume drops in 2020

by Andrea Zander

After hitting a record $85.4 billion in 2019, secondary market transaction volume dropped to $61.8 billion in fiscal year (FY) 2020. Undoubtedly impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, this represented a 27.7 percent decrease from the secondary volume recorded in the Setter Capital Volume Report FY 2019.

Volume was down across most types of alternative investments. The private equity secondary market (funds and directs) decreased 27.8 percent year-over-year, to a total of $56.21 billion. Private equity fund secondaries specifically were down 50.2 percent ($24.85 billion in FY 2020 from $49.86 billion in FY 2019). Notably, private debt fund secondaries were down 79.7 percent ($638 million in FY 2020 from $3.14 billion in FY 2019), and energy fund secondaries were down 87.2 percent ($226 million in FY 2020 from $1.77 billion in FY 2019). Real estate secondaries (funds and directs) were down 25.7 percent to $2.74 billion. Two bright spots were secondaries of agriculture and t

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