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Rubenstein calls for improved communication

Speaking to 350 delegates at the second annual Emerging Markets Private Equity Forum, David Rubenstein, The Carlyle Group co-founder, said the industry needed to explain itself better, whether in emerging or developed markets.

David Rubenstein, co-founder of The Carlyle Group, joined the chorus of buyout executives calling for better communication from the industry both in developed and in emerging private equity markets.

Rubenstein: better communication

Speaking at the packed Emerging Markets Private Equity Forum co-hosted by Private Equity International and trade association EMPEA, Rubenstein said the developed and emerging markets managers were united in their need to change the way their activity was perceived, although for different reasons.

In his keynote speech Rubenstein said emerging markets managers needed to overcome prejudice and to demonstrate real commercial returns were possible.

He said investors underestimated the size of the opportunity in emerging markets. They risked missing out on the kind of growth that Japan enjoyed in rising from the wreckage of World War Two to become the second largest global economy.

Rubenstein said emerging markets should be branded as growth markets because the phrase better captured the disparate characteristics displayed by different countries’ economies.

Managers in developed private equity markets also needed to improve the way they communicated their story. He said the media focus on returns was unhelpful.

Instead the managers should talk about how they have transformed businesses and how the real beneficiaries of a private equity success were the pension funds of ordinary people. He said some of the biggest investors in private equity are state-run occupational pension funds.