MM&K sponsor the PEI CFO & COO Conference in London on 16th-17th November.
December 8, 2021
On 16th and 17th November, Nigel Mills and Stuart James both attended and spoke at the CFOs/COOs Europe Forum organised by PEI Media, probably the first big conference aimed at this particular audience that has been held in person, since 2019. The conference was well attended with over 160 delegates, most of whom were either CFOs or COOs of alternative investment management firms.
There were interesting sessions on such matters as “Assessing the shift in priorities for private fund CFOs and COOs” as a result of the Covid pandemic, “Driving inclusion and diversity progress in private markets”, “Outsourcing vs in-house considerations” and “Technology and automation in private markets”.
Stuart James chaired a panel discussion on “Culture, human capital and talent strategy in private assets” and Nigel Mills hosted a round-table discussion on “Carry expectations in the post-Covid era”.
We sensed from those attending the conference a feeling of extreme optimism about the future of the alternative fund management industry, and also of tremendous opportunity.
One particular area of concern, however, related to the lack of a really good talent pool out there for the industry, especially where firms were wanting to focus on and improve their own inclusion and diversity agendas. There is no doubt that men still dominate the industry and there are very few senior female investment professionals in any part of the alternative investment management arena.
It was clear from other Conference speakers that a firm’s culture, particularly with regard to its approach towards diversity and inclusion, is now a major factor, possibly the most important factor, in attracting and retaining the right sort of talent to and in a firm. Pay and carry participation remain very important factors also, but culture was up there and an area where firms recognised the need to improve and strive to be best in class.
This is an area that MM&K is also very keen to help the industry with, and to help in this regard we will be looking much more closely at the statistics relating to diversity and the whole gender pay debate in our 2022 PE and VC Compensation Survey.
To remind readers, MM&K has recently published its 2021 Report on PE and VC Compensation. Whilst the survey report is generally available to participants only, new participants can purchase the latest edition if they sign up to participate in our 2022 Survey.