Future 40 panel
Eric Deyle, Managing Director and Co-Head of Private Equity at Eaton Partners
David Fox, Managing Director at Blackstone Strategic Partners
Emily Brown, Partner at Schulte Roth & Zabel
Gaël Le Clec’h, Head of Private Equity at CNP Assurances
Yup Kim, Senior Portfolio Manager, Private Equity and Special Opportunities at the Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation
Fokke Lucas, Managing Director at 17Capital
What would you like those outside of the industry to know, or better understand, about private equity?
Fokke Lucas: That long term, locked up capital can be hugely beneficial for companies, their employees and investors. Especially in times of disruption, such as covid-19 or the global financial crisis, privately held investments can be managed without public markets pressure. Private equity managers can focus on the long-term development of a company without having to manage short-term public market sentiment.
Yup Kim: Thoughtful, kind and mission-driven people abound in the industry. Private equity, in the right hands, can serve as a formidable mechanism to increase real wages and jobs, provide better products and services, drive growth, reduce inequities, dis-incentivise rent-seeking behaviour and benefit the livelihoods for the 99 percent, not only those at the top.
Eric Deyle: Access to private equity is no longer limited to large institutional investors and will increasingly become a conventional allocation in retail investment portfolios. Private markets’ AUM was $6.5 trillion at the end of 2019 and growing faster than public equities.
Gaël Le Clec’h: Private equity is no longer just a group of funds willing to acquire companies with the maximum leverage. Under the impulsion of its LPs, the private equity industry is increasingly factoring ESG considerations into its investment decisions and portfolio management. A lot of effort is made to make sure the returns generated are combined with responsible behaviour.
Emily Brown: Most private equity professionals that I deal with are genuinely concerned that the investments they make provide a benefit to society, or at least do no harm.
David Fox: Private equity firms invest capital on behalf of pension funds, large institutions like university endowments or charitable organisations, and individuals. At Blackstone, our mission is to create long-term value for our investors through the careful stewardship of their capital through investments across the alternative asset classes. At the end of the day, our efforts and capital grow hundreds of companies and support local economies.
Read more from the Future 40 panel: The rewards and challenges of their roles; the most valuable career lessons they have learned; their advice for someone new to the private equity industry.