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Women in PE Forum Recap | December 2022


December 9, 2022

By: Delaney Walker

Every quarter we gather leading women in PE to discuss current industry topics and to offer intelligent women the chance to gather, share information, and decompress with one another. In our most recent event, we gathered to discuss debt markets, navigating recession in the portfolio, and diversity at the PE firm level.

These forums are exclusively for women at private equity firms and follow Chatham House Rule, so listed below are high-level takeaways only. If you are a woman in private equity and interested in joining fellow leading female PE professionals during our next Women in PE Forum, RSVP here.

Debt Markets

  • Difficult debt markets are affecting the ability to get deals done, requiring more creativity to get deals across the finish line.
  • PE firms are shifting back towards commercial bank financing options as they are more active and holding relatively steady. 2023 predictions include:
    • Traditional banks are going to be relatively active lending on new deals versus unitranche lenders.
    • It will be particularly difficult to get financing for distressed/story assets.
    • Credit officers may try to clear underperforming loans off of their books.
    • As the cost of debt increases, the M&A market will continue to cool.

Navigating a Recession in the Portfolio

  • As the economy slows, PE firms have had to shift value creation priorities (and spend more time on the portfolio than usual). Some of those new priorities include:
    • Talent. PE firms are trying to get the right people in the right seats.
    • KPIs and Reporting. PE firms are also focusing on getting the right KPIs/reporting in place to track all leading indicators.
    • Add-Ons. If the portfolio company has a strong balance sheet, it can be an excellent time to acquire competitors or struggling companies to expand market share.

Diversity at the PE Firm Level

  • The data is overwhelming – diversity is the right and the smart thing for business, yet most PE firms struggle to recruit and retain women.
  • PE firms need to have a thoughtful strategy to recruit women, track KPIs, and hold everyone within the firm accountable.
  • Recognizing the applicant pool for women in PE can be smaller, PE firms are looking outside of the traditional PE background to identify top talent.

We thoroughly enjoyed getting to gather with women in private equity to discuss these current topics. We’d be happy to connect you to the PE-grade, exact-fit, third-party resources you need, just contact us here.