Coller Capital has teamed up with law firm Akin Gump to form an industry group for women.

The Women in Secondaries network seeks to “empower, promote and support women working in the secondaries industry” through quarterly networking and knowledge-sharing events, according to a statement seen by Secondaries Investor.

The group launched on Monday with a jointly-hosted virtual event attended by 50 industry professionals. Among the guest speakers was Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who before joining Akin Gump as a senior advisor was the first Hispanic woman to be elected to the US Congress.

“We can help offer insight and support to women across the private equity and finance sectors who are looking to learn skills and find the information that will help them succeed,” said Coller partner Louise Boothby in the statement.

“It is well documented that women are under-represented in senior positions within private equity, but even worse to think that the same patterns may already be emerging for the next generation,” added Akin Gump partner Mary Lavelle, referring to Secondaries Investor‘s findings in June that less than 4 percent of submissions to the annual Next Gen Leaders list were for female applicants.

“We hope that, by setting up this network, we will help to promote further diversity and inclusion across the industry at all levels,” she added.

Anyone who wishes to attend can contact Lavelle and Akin Gump partner John Daghlian at

In July, Secondaries Investor sat down with Kate Ashton, partner at law firm Debevoise & Plimpton; Martha Heitmann, partner at LGT Capital Partners; Johanna Lottmann, managing director at PJT Park Hill; and George Anson, chair of non-profit organisation Level 20 to discuss the role of women in secondaries. Click here to listen.