A Career in Private Equity? Why Not!

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Published 26 March at 09:00AM, inNews



Investment careers are little known and often overlooked. Yet there are a wide range of roles, in a variety of sectors and with companies at all stages of growth, in organizations of all sizes. 

On March 9, CFA Montréal and ELLE-Invest, an initiative of Réseau Capital, invited three inspiring women to talk about their work as investors. The panelists provided an overview of the private equity landscape, then discussed the different career opportunities within the industry and the uniqueness of these roles. To listen the audio reccording of the event (in French), click here and download the Powerpoint file.

What exactly is private equity? 

The term “private equity” is used to group together venture capital and private equity.

Venture capital is often associated with start-ups and the information and communications technology (ICT) sector. However, one has to keep in mind that venture capital is a type of investment that focuses on a variety of technology sectors, such as financial technologies, health technologies, green technologies, life sciences, and so on. Venture capital funds invest in high-potential companies to help finance them and accompany them in their growth.

Private equity is more often associated with larger companies in a variety of sectors, including more traditional sectors. Investors aim to increase the value of the company by participating in its growth, either by expanding operations, entering new markets or making acquisitions.

In both venture capital and private equity, an investment can be made from an investment fund directly to a company, or from an institution or a fund of funds to an investment fund. Rather than directly evaluating a company, they focus on the fund’s managers past performances, the management team in place, the investment thesis, etc.

Why take an interest in the role of women in investment?

To this day, while diversity can only strengthen the private investment sector, there are still not enough women in venture capital and private equity.

When it comes to investing, several criteria are taken into account when evaluating a company, An investment decision is not solely based on numbers. The company’s management team, the market, the competitive advantage, the risk, etc. are top criteria.

Therefore, the strength of an investment team comes from its ability to bring together different points of view and thus, from a combination of diverse experiences and skills. And that’s where diversity comes in!

And why work in private equity? 

Because of the companies’ unique technological nature or strong potential, in which private equity funds invest, the job of an investor requires to always be on the lookout for emerging markets and technological trends, here and elsewhere. So one must be curious and always seeking to learn more.

Risk also means both looking one step further and having an exit strategy ready from the moment the investment is made. But you have to be patient! 

Do I have the right profile? Where do I start? 

The profiles in demand can differ greatly depending on the investment sector. As a result, direct experience in corporate finance is not always required. Institutional investors can be a good entry point into this industry. Otherwise, close to forty private venture capital and private equity funds are based in Quebec and regularly post positions. 

Article provided by Elle-Invest