This content is from: Corner Office

Private Equity Executives Plan Hiring Spree

A majority of private equity and venture capital managers surveyed at EisnerAmper’s alternative investment summit signaled plans to add to their staffs.

Private equity firms are planning to hire across their businesses, signaling no slowdown for an industry that has attracted a flood of capital from institutional investors, according to a poll taken at EisnerAmper’s annual alternative investment summit in New York.

Seventy-seven percent of private equity and venture capital executives expect to hire staff for their investment, operations, or investor relations teams over the next 12 months, EisnerAmper found in its survey of conference attendees. The accounting firm, which probed 120 senior investment professionals including hedge fund and private equity executives, plans to announce the survey results Tuesday.

Private equity is the investment style that investors want to get into,” Nicholas Tsafos, an audit partner in EisnerAmper’s financial services practice, said in a phone interview. 

Buyout firms are raising larger funds at the same time investors such as pensions and family offices are seeking more exposure to the industry through co-investments or by doing their own deals, according to Tsafos. Meanwhile, the venture capital industry is growing partly because companies are waiting longer to go public, he said.

As the alternative assets industry expands, Yale University is preparing a new program designed to train students for jobs in asset management. The school announced Monday that it will begin offering the one-year program late next year to students pursuing a Master of Management Studies degree. 

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Yale chief investment officer David Swensen, well-known for leading endowments’ push into alternative assets, will help teach the program, according to the statement. “Illiquid alternative asset classes such as private equity, real estate, and natural resources” will be among the asset classes explored, the New Haven, Connecticut-based school said. 

Investors in the region, including asset managers based in New York, Boston, and Fairfield County, Connecticut, will co-teach many of the courses in the new program, Yale said. For example, the school will collaborate with quantitative investor AQR Capital Management and Bridgewater Associates, the world’s largest hedge fund firm.

Yale School of Management said that its faculty includes experts in hedge funds and investment techniques using big data and machine learning. Artificial intelligence is increasingly being explored by investors, with Boston-based quant firm Acadian Asset Management saying last month that it was weighing the use of machine learning to pick stocks based on environmental, social, and governance criteria. 

While interest in machine learning is on the rise, just 21 percent of hedge fund executives at EisnerAmper’s summit said their firms use artificial intelligence or machine learning to trade or invest. Twenty-eight percent of surveyed managers had ESG portfolios within their hedge funds. 

“The financial world often struggles to attract Millennials, and now Gen-Z, given its aging reputation and the number of disruptive startups competing for the best talent,” said Christopher Loiacono, a managing partner of services at EisnerAmper, in the firm’s statement on the survey. “Today, people are looking for an employer that will not only provide them with strong career opportunities but who will pay it forward within their community and industry.”

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