Public scrutiny on businesses is increasing and the private equity industry needs a better narrative, according to the head of the UK’s private equity and venture capital industry body.
“The gap between politics and business has gotten wider. Our job is to seek to address that as well as we can… If we don’t, we will find ourselves under more scrutiny, and not the pleasant kind,” Michael Moore, director general of the British Private Equity & Venture Capital Association, said in his opening remarks for the BVCA Summit 2019 in London on Thursday.
Moore, who spent almost two decades as a politician, added that getting a hearing with policymakers and stakeholders needs to happen to show what the industry’s social value looks like beyond its economic value.
“This is where citizens, consumers and parliamentarians are looking at us and our businesses and wondering what we do beyond jobs and investments. Overall, this creates a new thinking about our public value,” he said.
He also noted that while Brexit is the most important early focus for British private equity, its relationship with Europe should be the longer-term focus.
“Looking at our portfolio companies and the preparations they are doing is a focus. But getting the relationship right with Europe for the longer term – that will be the big one – whatever short-term, difficult period we will have in the next few months, that long-term relationship is where we need to be focused.”
Climate change, tech revolution, changing demographic, economic powers of China and India and the rest of Asia, as well as the legacy of the financial crisis are important issues for the industry in the next 10 years, he added.