Private Equity International: Opportunity Amid Chaos

By Sam Sutton

With the private equity industry embroiled by the controversy surrounding the US presidential election, PEGCC chief Steve Judge sees an opportunity to educate the media and public.

Private equity has long shown a preference for operating below the mainstream media’s radar. So when recent political attacks on the industry’s job-creation bona fides contributed to broad public scepticism of the investment strategy, the responsibility of responding for the industry fell to Private Equity Growth Capital Council president Steve Judge.

Judge, who oversees the Council and serves as a public policy megaphone for the organisation’s 36 member firms, is tasked with pushing back on assertions that private equity generates returns at the expense of US jobs and the economy. And that’s a tough sell in the current political climate.

“It’s a good opportunity,” Judge said. “I don’t mean this to be a sort of Pollyanna, but the attention on private equity has really made people more interested in learning about us – even more so than before. And there’s a positive aspect to that … The challenge is that it’s a political year, and there’s always some misrepresentation, bumper stickers, which seek to describe an industry in far too limited and narrow a way.”

In that respect, Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign hasn’t been doing private equity any favors. Several sources have expressed their displeasure with the erstwhile Bain Capital chief’s (lack of) defense for the industry, pointing instead to the PEGCC’s “Private Equity at Work” campaign as a better example of combatting negative hype.

Please click here for the full article.