Tuesday, November 20, 2007
That Walker Private Equity Report in Full
The findings of an inquiry into the Private Equity industry by Sir David Walker was released yesterday. Although some criticised the report as being "biased" and "not going far enough, criticsms were quickly countered by the BVCA who said: "any persual will reveal that its recommendations are indeed Draconian and likely to chase the industry and its incredibly talented, bright, innovative, humane, thoughtful, omniscient, public service-oriented entrepreneurial patriots to Lichtenstein, Switzlerland, or, heaven forbid Monaco.
Amongst Sir David's findings were:
* More tea should be made available in member firms. The quantities of coffee served and drunk by Private Equiteers might be responsible for accusations that their behaviour could be construed as "not in the public interest".
* There have been possible abuses of company Limo expenses for private use.
* Poor choice of PE firm names. The BVCA's image may be harmed by the poor and unfriendly choice of PE firm names. Walker suggested more inclusive and friendly-sounding names to help stem criticism
* Insufficient leverage at the investment advisory company level. Mr Walker said "What's good for the goose must be good for the gander" and queried why the Advisory firm doesn't employ more leverage to improve the look of their offices, and offer interested officials related to the inquiry more "perks".
* An unusual concentration of Partners at BVCA member firms posessing surnames in the first third of the alphabet.
* Rumours of PE firms responsibility for vicious rumours relating to Northern Rock's solvency are entirely false.
* Insinuations that the public interest and workers interests "suffer" when PE firms cause target companies to assume copious amounts of dubiously servicable leverage; collude unfairly in "club deals"; compromises sitting management's independence by offering overly lucrative follow-on engagaements; raid the company pension fund of any surplus and suspend future contributions by raising actuarial return assumptions; extracts loadsa' upfront fees that might have been better-deployed for longer-term R&D, are entirely unfounded and specious, and having been cynically circulated Al-Qaeda as part of a covert plan to sabotage Britain's miraculous economy.
Tomrrow: a new report by the I.o.D. entitled: "Private Equity: Can It Really Cure Cancer & Ameliorate PMS?"