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Alex Lykken

Senior Analyst

Alex Lykken is a senior analyst at PitchBook, covering custom research projects and white papers across the PE, VC and M&A markets. He worked on PitchBook’s editorial team from 2012 to 2015 and re-joined in 2017 after a two-year stint at Goldman Sachs. He attended Central Washington University and studied history and political science.

Outside of work, he spends his time fishing, golfing, writing, losing at fantasy football, and trying to keep up with his two-year-old lab.

Articles by Alex Lykken

Flush with cash, PE firms confront their new reality

Private equity has lots of money at the ready—the question is, what will it be used for?

How COVID-19 is shaping up to be a major test for PE

PitchBook’s latest analyst note provides our initial take on the market’s impact on private equity amid coronavirus chaos, which could be substantial.

The ups and downs of GP-led secondaries

GP-led secondaries are gaining in popularity. But as with most things, there are two sides to the coin.

PE firms are holding on to winners longer

PEGs are finding more ways to hold on to promising assets longer while keeping investors happy.

FoF fundraising has fallen for 10 years and counting

Fund-of-funds fundraising has been on a consistent nosedive for the past decade, and that’s likely to continue.

Private debt cash flows are projected to stay positive

Net cash flows have been hugely positive for private debt funds recently, and the trends look like they’ll continue.

Following a decade-long uptick, direct lending continues to rise

Direct lending, which accounts for over half of private debt fundraising, broke a record in 2019—and it doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon.

PE firms aren’t keeping portfolio companies as long as they used to

The median holding time of private equity assets is continuing to decline—and it’s now down to 4.9 years, according to PitchBook’s 2019 Annual US PE Breakdown.
LPs

Pensions and sovereign wealth funds to become more sophisticated investors in 2020

The uptick in sovereign wealth fund and public pension deal activity indicates a small number of more sophisticated investors—a trend we expect to continue this year.

After record-breaking 2019, US PE fundraising expected to dip in 2020

Last year, private equity fundraising in the US hit record territory, raising $300 billion across funds from PE heavyweights such as Blackstone and Advent International.

VC-to-PE buyouts anticipated to continue aplenty in 2020

As we roll into the new year, we’ll delve into some of the predictions we made in PitchBook’s 2020 Private Equity Outlook. One trend we expect to see more of is VC-to-PE buyouts.

In the middle market, take-privates are a rare choice

Middle-market investors aren’t known for prolific take-private activity, but the percentages are low for the second year in a row.

Secondaries growth shows no signs of slowing down

We’ve been covering some of the PE predictions we made last year. On deck this week is our all-time-high prediction for secondaries activity. Narrowing our definition to secondaries fund cash flows, our forecast turned out to be true.

Cannabis has the VC market buzzing as firms seek to capitalize on hype

Venture dollars are pouring into the cannabis space on the assumption that the drug will eventually be legalized in the US. Without the traditional exit route of an IPO, the boom has also led to an uptick in M&A.

Against expectations, private debt fundraising saw a decline in 2019

Late last year, we published PitchBook’s 2019 Private Equity Outlook, our crystal ball analyst note where we took a crack at predicting trends in the year ahead. For private debt fundraising, we were slightly off.

Tech-focused PE funds are rising and thriving

Over the past decade, tech-centered PE funds have outperformed their non-tech-focused peers. 2019 has not only kept the trend going, but it’s broken records in terms of capital raised for such funds.

Tariff troubles: PE manufacturing exits are lacking in 2019

According to a newly released report from PitchBook and RSM, PE is having a rough time exiting manufacturing companies across the board this year—regardless of where the buyer comes from.

China-driven M&A in North America is nearly MIA this year

North American M&A activity involving Chinese buyers has fallen off a cliff this year, on pace to fall by more than 90% from its 2016 peak, according to PitchBook’s 3Q 2019 North American M&A Report.

For PE fund distributions, timing is everything

It’s hard but worthwhile to try to determine how quickly LP dollars go in and out of PE funds. While distributions can be a guessing game, most PE funds take 12 years or more to fully liquidate.

Despite larger assets, publicly traded PE firm valuations are languishing

Recent GP stake deals are giving us a growing sample size of private PE firm valuations. We ran a quick comparison of private and public PE firm valuations using market caps against AUMs.

This year could set another record for US PE add-on activity

Add-ons now account for 68% of all US PE buyouts, and a variety of factors have helped boost that ratio to today’s level.

Infrastructure fundraising spiked in 2018—where will the capital go?

Congress has yet to pass a long-awaited infrastructure bill, but with $77 billion-plus raised by PE funds since 2017 and an estimated $4.6 trillion in improvements to be made, investors are ready.

PE mega-funds have higher floors and lower ceilings than smaller vehicles

TVPI figures suggest that mega-funds hit more doubles than the rest of the market, but also fewer home runs, according to a recent PitchBook analyst note.

US middle-market deal activity set to rival last year despite fundraising lag

Middle-market PE activity in the US was strong through the first half of the year, but it was a different story for fundraising.

Eight years in the black for private equity cash flows

Between 2017 and 2018, LPs were on the receiving end of nearly $1 trillion in global private equity returns, according to PitchBook’s latest Global Fund Performance Report.

Despite an active PE industry, drawdown rates have remained slow since 2012

Record years for PE activity are often viewed as fast-moving frenzies, but capital call statistics show the industry is investing much more slowly than it has in the past, according to our latest Benchmarks Report.

Despite signs of a potential recession, dealmaker sentiment remains optimistic

Recent news about the yield inversion will probably have an effect on investor psyche. But answers from our last dealmakers survey paint a more optimistic picture.