Expert advice

A group of senior private equity professionals has been tasked with educating the EU about current impediments to their industry’s growth. By Robert Venes.

In November, the European Commission will release a white paper detailing a series of initiatives and recommendations put forward by a group of industry experts to enhance Europe’s framework for private equity funds.

The group comprises 14 European private equity practictioners from 10 countries. In early July, it published a report outlining its recommendations to policy makers.

McCreevy: listening

The European Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (EVCA), has high hopes for the projects. Justin Perettson, regulatory affair manager, explains its significance: “It’s the first time Charlie McCreevy, the EU commissioner, has made this kind of initiative. It gives the industry the chance to address both perceptions and misperceptions, as well as raise awareness of the benefits of private equity, such as its contribution to growth and employment.”

Carol Kennedy, senior partner at Pantheon Ventures and one of the group’s speakers, says the point is to provide evidence-based input showing that private equity can be “a tremendous source for good” in comparison to the more negative image frequently touted in the press.

Kennedy says that a key objective is to standardise regulations across Europe as the private equity industry becomes more transnational: “The rules have had a national focus and don’t provide the same treatment for investors in private equity as in public equities.”

That is why the group is urging the EU to remove any obstacles at national level to the development of a single market for private equity funds.

The other members of the expert group are: Monique Cohen, Apax France; Anne Glover, Amadeus Capital Partners; Josyane Gold, SJ Berwin; Javier Loizaga, Mercapital and EVCA chairman; Jan Moulijn, Taros Capital; Vince O’Brien, Montagu Private Equity; Fabio Lorenzo Sattin, Private Equity Partners; Ari Tolpannen, CapMan; Pascal Lagarde, CDC Enterprises; Maria Leander, European Investment Fund; and Julian Tzvetkov, Hungarian Development Bank.

Kennedy, Ulf Soderholm of Andulf Advokat and Thomas Puetter at Allianz Capital Partners recently spoke at a hearing with the commissioner to discuss the report. The industry will be keen to hear its findings come November.

This article first appeared in the July/August issue of Private Equity International.