Ardian’s Marie-Victoire Rozé: secondaries provide opportunities for women

Opportunities abound for young talented women in the secondaries industry due to the diversity of the job itself, according to the senior managing director.

As part of the Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day celebrations, affiliate title PE Hub Europe has been running a series on senior women in private equity.

The team caught up with Marie-Victoire Rozé, a senior managing director at Ardian in its secondaries and primaries business, to learn about her career and experiences in private equity.

How did you get into private equity?

I got into private equity while I was studying. When doing my masters in finance, AXA Private Equity (now Ardian) provided some private equity courses with members of their team. As I learned more about the sector, my interest grew, and I received the opportunity to do an internship in Ardian’s primaries and secondaries team – and I never left!

I started my career in our HQ in Paris for four years and then spent the following 10 years in our New York and London offices, before relocating back to Paris in March 2020. It has been a great chance to work in various geographies, navigating different markets and working with international colleagues – which is especially valuable as our investment activity is truly global.

What was your first deal like?

The first deal I worked on was the acquisition of a global secondaries portfolio of funds, from a US seller, executed from the Paris and New York offices. That was the moment I realised how global the secondaries business was, working with internal and external teams across three different continents. I learnt a lot from that first experience.

How has the industry changed during your time working in private equity?

The first big change is really the size of the secondaries market. When I started back in 2005, the market was only $7 billion of annual volume. Last year, the market reached over $110 billion, so there has been huge growth here. Another big change is the sophistication of the market. It used to be quite generalist with only one type of transaction. Today, it’s much more specialised, with the emergence of GP-led transactions and infrastructure secondaries, for example. Given that I was lucky enough to join the industry early on, it’s been great to enjoy and experience a lot of this growth and development.

What motivates you in your career?

I would say very simply it is the people I work with, whether that is internal or external.

What I truly enjoy every day is working and interacting with highly talented people, within our team and with investors and managers globally.

I also really enjoy the culture of our firm, and the opportunity to work on a variety of diverse topics in what is a truly global working environment.

What would you say to younger women who are considering joining the industry?

I would like to say don’t be shy when considering a career in what can be perceived from the outside as a less diverse industry.

There are a lot of opportunities for young talented women in the industry. There is a lot of work along the way, but it comes with a lot of rewards in terms of career progression, intellectual stimulation and learning opportunities. There are already a lot of female leaders who are role models in the industry, starting with the ones at Ardian, such as our founder and president Dominique Senequier.

I am confident there will be many more to come as more and more female talent joins the sector. The wider industry is actively working to improve diversity – for example in our team, since early 2022, 50 percent of our new hires have been women.

Lastly, if you decide to go for a career in private equity, I strongly recommend considering secondaries. It has a lot to offer in terms of future growth, but also when it comes to diversity in the job itself, whether that be geographies, underlying assets or types of deals. It will only continue to grow, so it’s a fantastic area to specialise in.