The secondaries industry has come a long way and continues to grow by the day. Yet it remains a small industry with a limited talent pool. That’s why, each year when we seek nominations for our list of the most impressive young people, there’s a worry at the back of our minds as to whether the latest cohort will be as impressive as the last.

Well, this year our fears have proved unfounded yet again. The Secondaries Investor Next Gen Leaders of 2020 list, formerly known as Young Guns of Secondaries, celebrates yet another group of professionals who are pushing the sector’s boundaries and helping to grow the market across asset classes and geographies.

As a publisher, we understand that language is important. That’s why this year we decided to change the name of the list from Young Guns of Secondaries to a more inclusive phrase – without any gender connotations – that better reflects why the professionals in the list have been selected.

This year’s list comprises 12 investors, four advisors, four lawyers and one lender. At the top of the ranking is Erica Seidel, the 30-year-old vice-president at Strategic Partners who blew us away with her smarts, her efforts in gender equality initiatives, and her integral role in driving the Blackstone unit’s deals. Seidel is also the first woman to rank in the top spot since we launched the list in 2016.

This year we have four professionals under 30 for the first time ever – a sign that secondaries is an industry that people in the early stages of their careers are interested in. We wouldn’t be surprised if future Next Gen lists contain people who are even younger.

2020 has been a year of both challenges and surprises for the world. For the secondaries industry, the pandemic has thrown a spanner in the works. If the old saying “you never want a serious crisis to go to waste ” is anything to go by, the industry will emerge from the pandemic bigger and better, having capitalised on opportunities and provided liquidity to those who need it most. Many of the people who’ll be driving the deals to emerge from this crisis appear in our Next Gen list.

The future of the secondaries market looks like it’s in good hands.

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