ILPA Podcast – Voices of Private Equity

Voices of Private Equity is a podcast series featuring the leading voices from across the private equity industry in candid, personal conversation about the industry itself and their experience within it.

Listeners will be given a unique view into the insights, strategies and thoughts of leaders in this space. You’ll want to keep tuning in to hear first-hand how the people who make high stakes decisions go about sorting through the challenges, opportunities, risks and rewards while market and political dynamics swirl around them.

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In This Episode:

Tanya Carmichael, Ontario Teacher’s Pension Plan’s Managing Director of Global Funds and former ILPA chair discusses how she found her way into the private equity world and who helped her get there.

As environmental, social and governance factors continue to gain prominence within the industry, Tanya discusses how she came about to understand the importance of ESG, and how she worked to implement ESG into the OTTP investment process.

Within the context of today’s environment, Tanya challenges the PE industry to continue to press further on ESG and lays out concrete steps that both LPs and GPs can take to demonstrate their commitment.

Have questions, comments, or concerns? Email us at voicesofprivateequity@ilpa.org.

In This Episode

Teacher Retirement System of Texas’ Managing Director of Private Equity, and current ILPA chair Neil Randall discusses why private equity has and can continue to deliver outsized returns for beneficiaries.

In a fast-changing world, it is important for the private equity industry to continue to adapt and drive value creation. Neil highlights some of the ways that GPs can continue to innovate, and ways that LPs can help drive that innovation. At Texas TRS, Neil and his team are committed to the ‘Texas Way’ and are constantly looking for new ways to deliver better returns, drive alignment, and engage the industry.

Lastly, Neil gives his recommendations for someone visiting Austin for the first time and speaks about what he would love to do if he weren’t working as an LP.

Have questions, comments, or concerns? Email us at voicesofprivateequity@ilpa.org.

In This Episode

Melissa Ma discusses her experiences as a co-founder and managing partner of Asia Alternatives, the longest-lived women-founded private equity firm, and reflects on the progress that the private equity industry has made in becoming more diverse and inclusive over the last 15 years.

In a time of geopolitical uncertainty, capital allocators are assessing the trajectory of the relationship between the world’s two largest economies –the US and China. Melissa offers her take on how the relationship between the two superpowers might impact capital markets in the future. She also discusses the true potential of “democratizing” private equity, in the context of a broader push to open up private markets to retail investors.

Lastly, Melissa reflects on her relationship with two of her lifelong mentors and shares poignant thoughts on the best advice she’s received.

Have questions, comments, or concerns? Email us at voicesofprivateequity@ilpa.org

In This Episode

Neil Malik, founder and CEO of K-1 Investment Management, discusses how Sponsors For Educational Opportunity (SEO), a non-profit dedicated to engaging individuals that have historically been underrepresented in the financial services sector, helped launch his career in private equity.

As the private equity industry places increased focus on diversity and inclusion efforts, Neil explains how K-1’s culture allows the firm to recruit individuals without ‘traditional’ private equity resumes. He also discusses the importance of voter participation and what K-1 is doing to encourage their team to exercise the privilege of voting.

Lastly, Neil reflects on how a lesson from his old high school teacher still impacts him and K-1’s culture to this day.

Have questions, comments, or concerns? Email us at voicesofprivateequity@ilpa.org

In This Episode

Adam Black, the head of ESG and sustainability for Coller Capital, reflects on how environmental, social and governance issues were received in the industry when the concept was first introduced, and the importance of putting ESG issues into commercial terms.

ESG issues are coming to the fore in private equity, but the industry still struggles both with defining ESG and applying consistency in implementation and metrics. Adam explains why a focus on measurable outcomes, rather than a framework, is critical to ESG success and why a GP’s approach to ESG can be symptomatic of how well the firm is run.

Have questions, comments, or concerns? Email us at voicesofprivateequity@ilpa.org

In This Episode: 

Steve Whatmore, the head of global private capital for the Queensland Investment Corporation (QIC) reflects on his career path in private equity and some of the challenges of managing US-based assets for an Australia-based institution.

In a world that is rapidly changing, Steve discusses the important role that technology and innovation strategies can play in a private markets’ portfolio. Steve examines specific ways our lives have changed in the digital era, and how QIC positioned itself to capitalize on that transformation.

Have questions, comments, or concerns? Email us at voicesofprivateequity@ilpa.org

In This Episode:

Brett Palmer of the Small Business Investor Alliance, Heather Slavkin Corzo of the UN PRI and AFL-CIO, and ILPA’s Chris Hayes, break down the implications of the recent US election for the private equity industry.

With two Senate races hanging in the balance, the shape of Congress is yet to be determined. No matter the outcome of the Georgia run-off elections, our guests agree that bipartisanship will be essential to any policy moves by the Biden Administration. Has carried interest’s time come in the tax policy agenda? What should we expect to come out of the Department of Labor or the SEC when it comes to ESG issues? And what sorts of regulatory changes are LPs most invested in? Join us for a look ahead at what the next few years could look like for private equity.

Have questions, comments, or concerns? Email us at voicesofprivateequity@ilpa.org

In This Episode:

Steve Kim, a partner at Verdis Investment Management, gives an in-depth look at how this ninth-generation family office incorporates data into a long-term investment horizon.

In the last decade, publicly available data on private markets has increased dramatically, but many limited partners don’t know how to best utilize the information in setting their allocation strategies and evaluating individual managers. Steve describes Verdis’ approach to accessing data and the all-important assumption every LP should bring to data analysis. When LPs utilize the full potential of data, will they find that manager skill matters? Tune in to find out.

Have questions, comments, or concerns? Email us at voicesofprivateequity@ilpa.org

In This Episode:

In a special conversation, originally hosted at ILPA’s Virtual Summit last fall, Orlando Bravo of Thoma Bravo and Theresa Whitmarsh of the Washington State Investment Board join Jen for a candid discussion on the specific roles that GPs and LPs are playing to advance DEI in the industry.

Theresa and Orlando weigh in on the responsibility of the LP to drive GP action on DEI. Orlando shares the importance of listening to younger voices on the team and thinking not just about culture “fit” but culture “add.” Theresa highlights the silver lining of the work from home era in widening the talent pool and WSIB’s approach to recruitment, and both share the steps their organizations are taking to create a culture that is truly inclusive.

Have questions, comments, or concerns? Email us at voicesofprivateequity@ilpa.org

In This Episode:

Kimberly Woods, the Director of Risk and Investment Compliance at the District of Columbia Retirement Board, discusses her career path as an LP and how being a part of a mission-driven organization is important to her personally.

DCRB is a relatively young and successful investment program with a keen focus on fee and expense transparency. Kimberly shares her experience on the subject and her insight on what LPs should know about performing operational due diligence. Reflecting on Black History Month and International Women’s Day, Kimberly discusses the importance of expanding the talent pipeline and getting young people excited about a future in private equity.

Have questions, comments, or concerns? Email us at voicesofprivateequity@ilpa.org

In This Episode:

Tim Recker, the Chief Investment Officer for the James Irvine Foundation, discusses how LPs should ‘think in decades’ as they approach investing in venture capital and cautions against setting too low a bar for investment returns.

Tim describes his approach to manager relationships and what would give an LP comfort to invest in cases where the legal terms are not ideal. The James Irvine Foundation has a specific tilt towards emerging markets, China in particular; Tim explains how investing with high-quality managers helps to mitigate risks and to drive returns.

Finally, the James Irvine Foundation identifies as an ‘anti-racist’ organization, and Tim shares how cultural and cognitive diversity are important components to both their investment strategy and their talent pipeline.

Have questions, comments, or concerns? Email us at voicesofprivateequity@ilpa.org

In This Episode:

Susanne von Gueltlingen, Partner in the Alternatives Asset Management unit within Siemens Fonds, joins the podcast to discuss her career journey and experience from corporate finance to life as an LP in Europe.

Susanne offers her take on culture in private equity. Is the commonly accepted notion that private equity careers require a commitment that comes at the expense of family obligations here to stay? Or is inclusivity driving change in work-life balance? Susanne also discusses Siemens’ investments in light of the COVID pandemic and their growing portfolio in the US. Finally, Susanne offers insights on the European Commission’s AIFMD review and ways that GPs can access the European market.

Have questions, comments, or concerns? Email us at voicesofprivateequity@ilpa.org

In This Episode:

In a unique episode, Jen is joined by Ken Akoundi, Founder of Cordatius LLC; Mark Steed CIO at the Arizona Public Safety Personnel Retirement System; and Antonio Rodriguez, Director of Investment Strategy for the New York City Board of Education Retirement Systems for a discussion on the stages and benefits of integrating new technology.

Ken is a private markets technology expert who has advised hundreds of investors on selecting and integrating technology; his experience has led him to a definitive conclusion – the technology investment is unequivocally worth it. And surprisingly, it often costs less than LPs expect.

Having recently completed technology modernization, Mark shares his perspective on obstacles that larger, established teams may face, while Antonio lends the unique perspective of a newer investment program that is starting from scratch. The group discusses the most common obstacles to securing the technology spend and to integrating upgraded systems as well as the resounding efficiency improvements that result once the project is complete.
Finally, as they say ‘hindsight is 20/20;’ Mark and Antonio share what they wish they had known before they started their technology modernization exercise.

Have questions, comments, or concerns? Email us at voicesofprivateequity@ilpa.org

In This Episode:

In a special episode, Jen is joined by ILPA colleague Samantha Anders for a look back at our first dozen episodes. As we approach the conclusion of the first series of the Voices of Private Equity podcast, the ILPA team noticed a trend – our guests have some incredible insights to share both on life and on career all gathered from their experience in private equity.

Listen in as Samantha and Jen discuss the wisdom guests have offered, from finding joy in professional life to making technical concepts come to life in approachable anecdotes, our guests have established that there are real ‘Returns on Experience.”

Like what you hear? This new segment will feature in upcoming regular episodes. Remember to rate, review and subscribe on the platform of your choice so you never miss an episode.

Submit comments, questions and guest suggestions to voicesofprivateequity@ilpa.org.