Millennials in private equity

Last week, I attended a breakfast briefing hosted by The Drawdown.  The topic was millennials in private equity, which as a millennial myself, was of particular interest.

One of the big questions posed to the panel was “what attracts millennials to a career in private equity?”.

The discussion during the briefing identified several key factors that millennials consider when seeking a new role; ESG, diversity and flexible working were just some of the ideas, along with (of course) financial reward. The motivator that resonated most with me was ‘having an impact’.  One of the panel members, Gonzague Boutry,  commented that private equity was attractive because of it’s entrepreneurial spirit.

After the event, I asked some millennials currently working in private equity why they chose this industry.  Here’s what they said:

“What’s really attractive about PE for me is the complexity of it. There’s always something more to learn, and a new problem to unravel.”

“I really enjoy the competitive nature of the industry; not everyone will succeed, which might put some people off, but it showed me that there was ample opportunity to be grabbed with both hands.”

During the panel discussion, Millie Glennon from Bridges Fund Management, shared how the firm has put ESG at the heart of their investment strategy, adopting an approach that may further attract millennials to the industry.

I found it interesting that attitudes towards responsible investing seem to have shifted from the ‘Barbarians at the Gate‘ approach.  This can only be a good thing – what is surprising, is that increasing numbers of applicants will prioritise these factors in their decision making process.  It’s a long way from the style of money making where focus was on financial success at all costs.

Charles Daulon du Laurens from Idinvest argued that the winning combination is to “bridge the gap between ESG and managing the financial requirements of the business.”  Personally, I believe that the route to success may well be the harmonious balance of business fundamentals within a transparent environment; the real question is how private equity firms plan to effectively fuse the two.

What motivates you to work in private equity?  – Kirsty

unsplash-logoNikita Vantorin
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