Leaving the office to work from home in the early part of last year proved easier than expected for many in the private equity industry.
GPs and LPs successfully adopted virtual working models in light of coronavirus travel restrictions. Annual general meetings moved online and firms managed to carry out oversubscribed fundraises without any face-to-face interaction.
In a survey of private markets professionals conducted this year by recruitment consultancy PER, 60 percent of respondents said they are dividing their time between remote and office-based working and 85 percent said they expect to be working remotely for at least one day per week in 2022.
The covid-19 Delta variant is disrupting the return to office for some segments of the private equity industry. Still, some have already returned to their desks. Here are some tips on transitioning back to the office from industry participants.
Sun Capital Partners Marc Leder, co-chief executive
“We discussed [our plan for formally returning to the office] for months and believe that we have found the right balance. Transparency and flexibility with our teams are the key to making any policy work. The only certainty right now is that things are highly uncertain, and you need to make decisions but continually reassess.”
FirstPoint Equity Julian Pearson, co-founder
“There are different and forever-changing rules on where you need a mask. The only tip is you have to have your mask in your back pocket. I have had to pass by Boots several times with the change in suits.”
Nomura Christina Marsh, vice-president, equity and fund investment solutions
“It’s easier and nicer to arrange walking meetings with people, rather than trying to find a table at a coffee shop. And better for exercise too.”
Asante Capital Group Warren Hibbert, founder and managing partner
“Travel remains complicated, but not impossible. [There have been] various stories of test results not coming back soon enough for return flights – to the UK, in particular. Seasoned travellers are becoming experts at various detours/rerouting through Europe. I don’t think we’ll get back to a regular cadence of business travel until the second quarter of next year at best – related in part to the willingness of LPs to receive GPs in their offices in addition to travel restrictions in place.”
Kirkland & Ellis Ted Cardos, partner, investment funds
“Avoid public transport, but avoid the rush for the showers in the morning – try walking, or scooting or skateboarding.”
Carmela Mendoza, Adam Le and Michael Baruch contributed to this report