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Here are the outstanding individuals who made PEI’s Future 40 list in 2021

Private Equity International’s top 40 under 40 are set to shape the world of private equity over the coming decade.

Competition is always fierce when it comes to the PEI Future 40: from a list of hundreds of nominations, our editorial team is tasked with the unenviable job of picking just 40 worthy names. This year, it was more challenging than ever.

Another year of lockdowns, curfews and Zoom meetings meant people were forced to innovate if they wanted to make a name for themselves – and innovate they did. From necessity comes invention, and this year’s Future 40 under 40 certainly proved their worth as the pandemic raged on.

The PEI Future 40 places a spotlight on the individuals most likely to shape the world of private equity over the coming decade. More so than ever, it’s impossible to know what exactly the future might hold – while some parts of the world are tentatively making a return to normality, others are finding themselves placed in stringent lockdowns once more. It’s within this environment of uncertainty that the best and brightest have found unique ways to shine.

The youngest person this year – Benjamin Lee, 30 – has made a name for himself as an associate investment manager at California Public Employees’ Retirement System by bringing new perspectives to underwriting while, PEI understands, playing an important role in the expansion of the firm’s private equity co-investment capabilities.

On the fundraising side, key players made the Future 40 list for their innovative work in streamlining processes and increasing transparency – like Apax Partners’ Xiaoni Shi, who worked through the height of the pandemic to improve accessibility and grow relations for her company.

The Future 40 also covers dealmakers, operators and lawyers. Alice Albizzati, co-founder of responsible investment fund Gaia Capital Partners, now Revaia, has become something of a trailblazer for brands that are mindful of their environmental and societal impact, while Marc Stoneham has been credited with pioneering and institutionalising the operational value-add approach at Development Partners International.

On the legal side, secondaries specialist Christopher Robinson joined Proskauer in September 2020, and within eight months had already worked on more than $10 billion-worth of secondaries transactions, including advising on Blackstone Strategic Partners’ acquisition of $1 billion-worth of infrastructure assets from Alaska Permanent Fund – the largest infrastructure portfolio to ever change hands on the secondaries market.

Of course, these are just some of the outstanding individuals who made the list in 2021 – as the months have passed, the full Future 40’s achievements have only grown in number and stature.