The results are in. Private Equity International readers have voted and selected Hillary Clinton (D) as their personal choice to be the next US president, despite believing John Kasich (R) is the best candidate for the private equity industry.
When asked who they would personally like to see in the White House, 37 percent voted for Clinton. She was followed by Kasich, who received 28 percent, and Donald Trump (R), who lagged behind at 16 percent. Bernie Sanders (D) came in fourth with 8 percent and Ted Cruz (R) last with 6 percent.
The survey was conducted among a group of 129 LPs, GPs and industry service providers.
“[Clinton] will hit the right balance between the interest of the private equity industry and its macroeconomic function as well as the necessity to limit some of its overdoings,” one respondent wrote.
Others noted that they believed she could bring political stability and sustainable growth and that Clinton is a “friend of private equity at the end of the day”.
Clinton has criticised private equity and hedge fund managers for paying “lower tax rates than nurses or the truckers” and has herself been criticised for accepting paid speaking engagements at private equity events run by the likes of The Carlyle Group and KKR.
Her tax plan calls for taxing carried interest as ordinary income at the 39.6 percent rate instead of the current 23.8 percent.
When asked to choose their favoured candidate for private equity, readers picked Kasich, who commanded 30 percent of the vote, followed by Clinton on 26 percent.
Respondents described Kasich as “business oriented” and pointed to his financial background.
“He’s the only candidate who is pragmatic,” said one respondent. “He’s conservative. He has the best practical understanding of global business and finance.”
Kasich, a former investment banker at Lehman Brothers, has said that he would lower the tax on capital gains to 15 percent from 20 percent.
For Sanders, who drew little support from respondents, either on a personal level or for what his presidency could do for the industry, one respondent wrote: “I know I am in the minority in the private equity industry by supporting Sanders, but I believe he’d be best for the country in every way, including economically, which would benefit private equity.”