Australian Private Debt – Accessing the Growing Opportunity


“Institutional investor appetite for alternative defensive allocations continues to grow” according to Revolution Asset Management’s CIO and veteran investment manager, Bob Sahota. In what is perceived as a late market cycle environment via record ‘covenant-lite’ and unsecured debt issuance in the US and Europe, senior secured private debt in Australia and New Zealand continues to gain favour amongst institutional and sophisticated investors who are looking for relative value within the defensive bucket of their asset allocation mix.

In its recently released whitepaper, Revolution Asset Management sets out to quantify the size of the opportunity in Australia and New Zealand, which has experienced growth, largely driven by a number of macro-economic tailwinds, the most substantial of which relates to changes to bank regulations. Due to increased capital adequacy requirements, there has been a consistent decline by Australian banks in lending to a number of key private debt sectors, which has created a financing gap in Australia and an emerging opportunity for non-bank lenders.

Sahota said: “Australian private debt is not a new asset class, nor is it a small one. At over A$2.8 trillion[1], it is larger than each of the Bloomberg AusBond Composite Index, the S&P/ASX200 Index and the Australian superannuation savings pool and has been growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.6%[2] since 2003. The new and evolving aspect of Australian and New Zealand private debt is the ability for institutional investors and high net worth individuals to access a larger portion of this market that historically has been the domain of banks.

“The Australian investable private debt universe is large but we believe the most attractive sub-sectors (against the current market backdrop) include leveraged buyout and private company debt, private and public Asset-Backed Securities (ABS) and loans to stabilised commercial real estate assets. The relative attraction of these sub-sectors is driven by numerous factors, such as their size and the relative value on offer” said Mr Sahota.

The whitepaper explains each of these sub-sectors in detail and presents empirical evidence on the relative value of the Australian private debt market versus notable offshore markets and makes a case as to why the asset class is worthy of consideration within a diversified portfolio construction framework.  Furthermore, a rationale supporting an allocation to private debt in this late phase of an unprecedented period of economic growth in Australia spanning 26 years is also covered.

Revolution Asset Management is the appointed Investment Manager for the Revolution Private Debt Fund I (‘the Fund’).  The Fund will invest in the sub-sectors described, and is targeting a return of cash plus 4% to 5% p.a.[3]  Significant interest in relation to capital raising for the Fund has been shown.

Read the whitepaper.

[1] Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA).
[2] Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA).
[3] Target return is not guaranteed.

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