Several large name asset managers have recently declared their intention to lead the way on democratising access to private markets and offer retail investors an avenue to invest in high value companies, which together account for $7.4trn and are set to grow further. Last week, BlackRock announced it was expanding its partnership with iCapital to increase access to its private markets product range. The week before Schroders brought its private markets strategies under a single brand and revealed plans for new funds, while JP Morgan Asset Management launched a new division, called Private Capital. 

Commentators cite a perfect cocktail of supply and demand as driving the sudden rush to private capital. 

On the one hand companies are staying private for longer, or sometimes, indefinitely. Equally, traditional Active Managers see Private Markets as a way to diversify retail clients away from low margin Passive Investments.

Traditionally, the majority of this money has been institutional. However, there is increasing appetite from retail investors and asset managers are only too keen to meet it.

"It is clear that over the past few years the rise of passive investing has given active managers food for thought on how they compete given passive managers have been taking large bites out of their lunch," said Ryan Hughes, head of active portfolios at AJ Bell.