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.
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.