Private Equity Executives Put North America Ahead of Emerging Markets for Investment, KPMG Poll Finds

Jun 29, 2010, 09:30 ET from KPMG LLP

NEW YORK, June 29 /PRNewswire/ -- In a poll of senior private-equity (PE) executives by KPMG LLP, the audit, tax and advisory firm, nearly half of the PE executives pointed to North America as offering the best investment options -- despite the perceived consensus that investment opportunities are ripest among the emerging markets.  

Of the PE executives surveyed at the SuperReturn U.S. 2010 Conference in Boston this month, 48 percent said North America was the best region to invest in based on competition, relative valuations, projected returns, economic outlook and relative ease of doing business. China followed with 19 percent of respondents, Latin America at 17 percent, and India at 7 percent

When specifically asked which BRIC country is seen as the best investment, the U.S. PE executives polled favored Brazil (42 percent), followed closely by China (39 percent); India was selected by 19 percent of the respondents. None selected Russia.  

"While many have buzzed over the last few years about the PE opportunities in emerging markets, it's clear that many U.S. investors feel more comfortable on their home turf," said Shawn Hessing, national lead partner for KPMG's U.S. Private Equity Group. "Private equity investments are by their nature complicated, and investors must consider how a country's regulatory and political environment may impact a business. This becomes more difficult in a foreign, and in some cases distant, country."

Conference participants were almost evenly divided when asked which sector globally offers the most attractive returns now. Financial services and healthcare each led with 22 percent of survey respondents, followed closely by infrastructure and energy at 20 percent. Just 13 percent of those surveyed selected real estate.

"I'm not surprised by the lack of a 'break-out' industry, as this economic environment offers attractive opportunities across almost all sectors," said Hessing. "Investors that do their homework will be rewarded, as deals today must be carefully considered on a case-by-case basis."  

The survey was conducted among 60 senior private equity executives during the SuperReturn U.S. 2010 Conference in Boston on June 4, 2010.


KPMG LLP, the audit, tax and advisory firm (, is the U.S. member firm of KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International.")  KPMG International's member firms have 140,000 professionals, including more than 7,900 partners, in 146 countries.


Jennifer Hurson