We recently sat down for a conversation on private markets recruiting with Sasha Jensen, founder and CEO of Jensen Partners; an executive search firm focused on the private markets. The firm uses technology to track investor relations and capital raising moves within across alternative asset management firms and the conversation yielded valuable insights for professionals looking for new opportunities in the space, and leaders looking to hire
Here are three takeaways from the conversation:
#1. Private Equity, Infrastructure, and Secondaries seeing greatest demand for capital raising and distribution professionals
Despite expectations of a contraction in hiring as a result of the pandemic, distribution and capital raising hiring activity in 2020 actually outpaced 2019’s total according to data collected by Jensen Partners. Over 2,000 moves by capital raisers were recorded in the year with private equity, private debt and multi-asset managers (firms with multiple strategies) seeing the greatest amount of activity.
One of the drivers for need of distribution specialists at multi-asset managers was the increase in “bolt on” strategies in the year. Bolt on strategies are those launched by multi-asset GPs in response to opportunities presented by the pandemic.
Moving into 2021 private equity, infrastructure, and secondaries have led the way in terms of Q1 capital raising hires.
#2. Culture matters. More than ever.
In light of a very challenging year, many professionals across the industry are taking stock of what matters to them and deciding whether the firms they work at represent those same values. Where in the past compensation was one of the key drivers for job moves, now culture is becoming more of a top priority. Professionals finding misalignment between their culture of their current firms and their personal values are taking the opportunity now to find new positions where there is a better culture fit and better alignment of values.
#3. Strides being made in the areas of diversity and inclusion but it’s still early days
In terms of diversity and inclusion (D&I) the early figures for 2021 have not yet shown notable change, but Sasha notes that it often takes up to 12 months to see the impacts of any broad-based initiatives in the industry to percolate.
What’s more, Jensen Partners found that 34% of managers surveyed had hired a Head of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the previous 12 months indicating that it’s an area where managers are making progress and that there is certainly more to come.