Secondaries: The Next Generation

Our Young Guns of Secondaries list has been keeping us busy, but not as busy as some of the candidates.

Nominations for our Young Guns of Secondaries 2016 list have now closed, and here at Secondaries Investor we’re finalising the contenders. We’ve been inundated by applications from all segments of the market – general partners, advisory firms and law firms – and it’s a testament to the high calibre of the industry that the profiles of so many impressive professionals have landed on our desks.

We plan to publish the list in mid-September, and deciding who makes the cut has been challenging – think intense discussions between our panel of editors and reporters in the Secondaries Investor and Private Equity International newsroom. Without giving anything away, here’s five themes we noticed.

Age doesn’t matter

Our panel has been struck by how Generation Y-ers have been leading some of the most impressive and complex deals around. Candidates as young as 26 are spearheading transactions in new markets and asset classes outside of private equity, proving youth is no barrier to success.

Women are under-represented in secondaries

Female professionals made up about 16 percent of submissions we received. While ours is not a scientific study by any means, it’s clear private equity is still a man’s world and secondaries is no exception. Across the private equity industry, women are a small minority: in 2015, just 14 percent of senior professionals in the industry were women, according to data cited by a World Economic Forum paper.

You don’t need an MBA…

Less than a fifth of candidates from the investment side hold MBAs. Note to undergraduates looking to get into secondaries: you might want to think twice before committing two years of your life and $140,000 in debt to get those three little letters on your CV.

… but it does matter where you went to school

Cambridge, Duke, McGill, Wharton, INSEAD – just some of the names in the submissions we received on the investment side. Having these words on your CV clearly helps.

Service providers’ profiles tell a different story: candidates studied at institutions as wide-ranging as the University of Tasmania, Japan’s Waseda University and University College Dublin.

Young secondaries professionals are bursting with innovation and creativity

From launching innovative vehicles, to pioneering transactions in non-traditional markets, to building relationships with institutional investors who have never heard of the secondaries market, candidates’ profiles have left us in awe of their complex deals or how they’ve invented tools to enhance and expand the sector.

While every submission we’ve received has been a high achiever, the candidates who’ve already made it to our shortlist have a certain X-factor and we look forward to sharing their profiles with you.

How tough is it for young people to get jobs in secondaries? Let me know: