AltoPartners: Private Equity and the Big Talent Squeeze

Sonal Agrawal of Accord India, Simon Bailey of The Inzito Partnership, Stephen Dallamore of Search Partners International, Thomas Heyn of Jack Russell Consulting, Mark Mulvanerty of Diversified Search, and Anna Schauman of Novare Group, discuss how the private equity sector is fighting for leadership.

Last year, the global private equity sector reported a record $3 trillion in assets under management and outperformed traditional investments by significant margins. Deloitte’s 2019 ‘Investment Management Outlook’ puts the amount of global PE dry powder (undeployed capital) at a record $1 trillion, signaling another stellar year for this alternative investment class. But experts are sounding the alarm. In a market awash with capital from investors seeking refuge from low interest rates, lackluster hedge funds and volatile equities, past growth is not necessarily a guarantee of future success. There are new players on the block, such as sovereign wealth funds and large pension funds, who are increasingly in direct competition for acquisitions with traditional PE companies. Adding to the uncertainty, borders between PE, investment banks and asset managers have become more and more blurred. When it comes to finding the right people to navigate these crowded waters, corporates are fighting back in a bid to protect their best and brightest from the allure of the PE payday. The race for quality deals it seems is matched only by the race for top talent.

So where to from here? What are the implications for the industry? And how can PE raise the bar when it comes to finding the right leadership to continue adding value to their customers? These are the questions we put to our global partners who have spent two decades working closely with PE clients in mature markets such as the U.S., the U.K., Germany and Sweden, and in developing economies such as India and South Africa.

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