The effects of the credit crunch could continue to have an adverse effect on the investment market for two or three years, according to Nicola Horlick, chief executive of Bramdean Asset Management.
As a result, Horlick says investors need to diversify and gain more exposure to assets producing absolute returns.
Bramdean says it has been negative about equity markets for 18 months, and does not expect conditions to turn around in the near future thanks to the effects of the credit crunch.
Horlick says the effects of a economic slowdown will take some time to work through into company earnings forecasts, and these will show further weaknesses among many stocks.
Bramdean plans to move away from long/short equity funds in its hedge fund portfolio to focus on absolute return type funds and distressed equity funds, and Horlick sees promise for private equity groups.
“At the moment these funds can buy companies far more cheaply than they could a year ago and the chances are that, if they are patient, deals will become even cheaper,” she says.
“Private equity deals are likely to involve more equity and less debt than they have in the past, but this will be counteracted by lower asset prices. Venture capital does not use leverage in any case, so should be very well placed in this environment.”
Bramdean says the current market is similar to that seen after the technology bubble, and those with cash to invest will be able to realise exciting investment opportunities in the coming years.
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