Turn to the following pages and you will uncover the identities of those private equity professionals who we have defined collectively as “global movers”. This marks the first occasion in which the editorial team at PEI, following many discussions with those of you on the frontline, has drawn up a global list of this nature.
Which brings us immediately to a point of clarification: what follows is an alphabetical list, not a ranking. We have quite deliberately assembled an eclectic mix, sprinkled with representatives from all corners of the market: GPs, LPs, mega-deal merchants, mid-market sponsors, venture investors, advisers and debt providers among them. To attempt to have positioned one over another would surely have been an exercise in futility.
What is more, success is not part of our definition: whether relative or absolute. As it happens, our list is full to bursting with successful professionals. But that's not the point. Or at least, not the whole point. Our purpose here is to draw attention not to success per se, but to influence. We believe that those included are helping to shape the evolution of the asset class at an absolutely crucial time in its history – when public scrutiny has never been higher and, consequently, so much is at stake.
Those included are helping to shape the evolution of the asset class at an absolutely crucial time in its history – when public scrutiny has never been higher and, consequently, so much is at stake
Of course, we would not expect universal agreement with our choices. Indeed, this would be surprising given the vast pool of candidates that warranted consideration. Arriving at decisions within our team was, after all, a far from straightforward undertaking. Many were the additions and subtractions before we finally arrived at a list that we felt best reflected what we were attempting to achieve.
It could be argued, quite reasonably, that practitioners operating in North America and Western Europe are over-represented in the pages that follow. Certainly, it is too easy to assume that the world revolves around the more mature markets when the reality is that the profile (and, dare we say it, influence) of private equity's emerging markets is increasing all the time. Our list does capture some flavour of this, but we nonetheless anticipate an increase in representatives from Asia and the world's other fast-growth regions in years to come.
Others might feel that we have ignored too many of the leading lights from the world's largest buyout houses. We can only plea in mitigation that we sought to select only the undisputed leaders in this segment so that we could provide fair representation of everyone else. It's probably fair to say that we could have drawn up a list such as this based on LBO professionals alone – and that therefore they had an extra mile to travel in order to make the cut.
Above all perhaps, we should stress that seeking to identify private equity's most influential people is far more an art than a science. The fun is in the debating – and we trust that you will join this debate by sharing your thoughts with us in due course. In the meantime, enjoy finding out who, in our estimation, have the power to make the earth move.