Investors hoping for an IPO as an exit to liquidity are going to be waiting a while to cash out, according to finance executives in a new survey from financial services firm KPMG.

As a result, venture capitalists expect to have to hang on longer to firms they have invested in, a fact reflected in recent statistics in North Carolina. In the second quarter, 17 of 22 deals were follow-on rounds. Sixty-seven percent of respondents said their exit timelines were being extended by 12 months or more.

When IPOs do begin occurring again, participants in the survey expect “greentech” firms will lead the way.

Given the current state of Wall Street and the economy in general, respondents in the survey said initial public offerings are not going to return in “consistent flow” until 2010.

No venture-backed firm executed an IPO in the second quarter this year, something that hadn’t happened in 30 years, according to the National Venture Capital Association.

In the survey released Tuesday along with AlwaysOn Media, KPMG said 79 percent of those surveyed expected “strong” activity in 2010. However, 40 percent don’t see a turnaround until 2010, and 24 percent don’t see a rebound until 2011.

Survey participants included venture capitalists, corporate buyers, bankers and entrepreneurs.

"There is no question that economic and market conditions have dealt the IPO market a blow," said Packy Kelly, a KPMG partner and co-leader of its venture capital practice. He’s based in Silicon Valley. "These conditions have led investment firms to hold positions longer, but will not hinder their appetites to continue to invest in attractive sectors, such as greentech and mobile, as they anticipate a more attractive IPO market for these companies in the near future."

Forty-four percent of the execs believe greentech firms will be at the forefront of an IPO resurgence followed by mobile (16 percent) and digital entertainment (13 percent).

Greentech also tops expectations for investments in 2009.

Twenty-seven percent picked greetech firms to receive the most funding with digital entertainment expected to get 23 percent and mobile 20 percent followed by life sciences at 16 percent.

Top categories for greentech include: alternative fuels, 39 percent; solar power, 22 percent; “clean” automobiles, 14 percent; and wind power, 11 percent.

Among digital entertainment investments, the survey respondents picked mobile applications as the hottest at 43 percent with social media second at 25 percent and content development third at 20 percent.

In fund raising, more than half of respondents expect more “niche” funds to be launched with particular emphasis on a geographic territory or category.

Top foreign markets five years from now, based on the survey, will be China and India followed by Brazil, Russia, Israel and Qatar.

"There is a clear indication that growth investors have become more global, spreading their capital worldwide," said Brian Hughes, a KPMG partner based in Philadelphia and a co-leader of its venture capital practice.