Charting a new course

Turn to the following pages and you will discover the identities of those individuals that we have decided have it within their power to bring about change in private equity – whether for better or worse.

Such a list, we feel, is timely. After all, the global private equity business is at an inflection point. Looking back on the greatest boom in its history, the industry is now contemplating life in a business environment that is being transformed by the repercussions of the credit crunch. The changes resulting from this transformation could be vast.

Not only do big challenges abound, but there will be major new opportunities as well. In order to tackle both, private equity thought leaders from around the world are now busily crafting their strategies for the future – strategies for fundraising and deal sourcing, for portfolio company management and executive compensation, for regulatory change and public relations. Leading professionals from every corner of the industry – general partners, fund investors, lawyers, bankers and fundraising specialists – are engaged in bigpicture reflection, and their conclusions are likely to affect the whole of the industry.

Not only do big challenges abound, but there will be major new opportunities as well. In order to tackle both, private equity thought leaders from around the world are now busily crafting their strategies for the future

At the same time, a wide range of senior decision makers outside the asset class are equally concerned with private equity's future: these include politicians, bureaucrats, trade unionists and others. While some of them have a pro-private equity agenda, others are approaching the debate with attitudes ranging from the sceptical to the downright hostile. Industry professionals need to pay close attention to both the promoters and the detractors in this group: given their influence and power, they are bound to have a significant impact on the evolution of private equity in the near future.

So how have we determined these key individuals in and around the asset class who will give new meaning to the term “private equity” in the coming months and years? Well, it's not been easy. Nonetheless, after much internal debate – together with extensive research and in-depth interviews with relevant observers around the world – we have arrived at a list of characters who we expect to be making the most meaningful contributions to the recalibration of private equity that is already ongoing.

Without further ado, turn the pages and peruse our summaries of those men and women who we think will change the way private equity investors go about their business.