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The Case for Diversity

Casting a Wider Net

Verdun S. Perry, Senior Managing Director, Blackstone, says several things can be done to increase diversity within the private equity industry. First, he notes that recruiters can look beyond the typical universities for talent. He also says established, successful diverse professionals in the industry can also help educate and expose young people to the industry.

Effective Mentoring

Mentorship is an important part of career development, but according to Verdun S. Perry, Senior Managing Director, Blackstone, a proper mentor/mentee relationship must come about organically. He also discusses the significance of creating a legacy of helping others to succeed in his chosen field.

It Takes a Village

Mentorship was an important component of David Grain’s success and something he passes along to those professionals he meets. Mr. Grain, Founder and Managing Partner of Grain Management LLC, also shares his appreciation for reading biographies of successful people and how he benefited from learning from their accomplishments.

NAIC a 'Terrific' Partner

Ted Eliopoulos, Chief Investment Officer of CalPERS, extols the benefits of working with the National Association of Investment Companies on various initiatives over the years, which includes an advisory role on the agency’s Transition Emerging Manager Program.

The Value of Mentorship

José Feliciano, Managing Partner & Founder of Clearlake Capital Group, admits that he knew nothing about investment banking early in his educational career. Here, he discusses his entry into the industry, why he is involved with mentoring organizations and his efforts to educate young diverse people on the financial services industry.

A Collage of Mentors

Frank Baker, Co-Founder & Managing Partner of Siris Capital Group talks about the value of mentorship and the individuals who have positively influenced him on his professional journey. With an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School, Baker started his career in the Mergers and Acquisitions group of Goldman Sachs.

The Challenges of Raising Capital

Despite delivering superb performance many diverse firms continue to struggle with raising capital. David Perez, President & Chief Operating Officer of Palladium Equity Partners, talks about the role emerging manager programs can play in helping these firms grow assets so that assets reflect performance. Palladium Equity Partners is focused on making investments in lower-middle market companies with a special focus on partnering with founders and family-owned businesses.

The Value of Diverse Managers

R. David Kelly, Chairman of the Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS), reveals how his team helped increase the size of the retirement plan and the role diverse managers played in growing assets by achieving superior returns. TRS manages a $132 billion fund and provides retirement and related benefits for those employed by public schools, colleges, and universities.

Champions Needed

Robert L. Greene, President & CEO of the NAIC, explains the need for champions within the private equity and hedge fund industries. Champions are those individuals within a capital allocator who is not afraid to go in and fight the status quo to help increase the awareness of the opportunities that lie within the diverse managers’ community.

Making NAIC a Household Name in the Financial World

Robert L. Greene, President & CEO of the National Association of Investment Companies (NAIC), discusses his vision for the organization, how its member firms have grown over the years and the plan to build a bigger community of influencers around diverse managers so their value is respected and appreciated.

The Business Case for Inclusion

Creating policies that embrace diversity isn’t just a moral imperative, but also sound business practice. Maha Eltobgy, Head of Investors Industries, Member of the Executive Committee, World Economic Forum LLC, says those involved in seeing greater diversity in the private equity industry needs to press the business case for inclusion.

The Benefits of Gender Diversity

Kelly M. Williams, Senior Advisor, GCM Grosvenor, says the industry only gets better when there are more women involved. She also points to the various studies independently concluding that firms with more diverse decision-making teams tend to outperform others. Additionally, asset allocators are as likely as not to have a female on their team and having a potential connection point can be a competitive advantage.

Valuable Mentorship

Howard Sanders, Founder and Managing Director of Auldbrass Partners, shares how institutional and entrepreneurial mentorship helped his team more effectively communicate both internally and with investors. He also cites how his firm, a spinout of Citigroup, received support from executives at the financial giant.

Diverse Teams, Better Performance

Several studies have proven that firms with diverse teams outperform benchmarks at a greater rate than other firms. Alisa Amarosa Wood, Member, Client and Partner Group, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P., points out that more diverse decisions lead to better discussions and better results which can drive value to a firm’s constituents.