Private market activity during the height of the global pandemic was characterised by a build up of dry powder, and difficulty in the deployment of this capital. As the chapter closes on an extraordinary year within the markets, there has been signs of private capital aligning itself for a strong year ahead. In this white paper, we explore what has driven activity within the private markets sector over the last year, with a focus on direct lending, one of the fastest growing private debt strategies. Our analysis provides a deep dive into the following questions: What impact has Covid-19 had on fundraising? How does a manager’s size dictate their success? How is ESG being integrated in private market investing?