Private Equity and Value Creation: A Fund Manager’s Guide to Gender-smart Investing

09 Dec 2020

Gender-smart investing is a growing asset class with a compelling business case. Billions of dollars are held in assets under management, in both private and public capital markets, and the opportunities to mobilize capital and invest to close gender gaps are promising and growing.

Evidence shows that gender-smart investment strategies can help grow a company’s competitiveness, solidify its supply base, improve its human capital, and help build an overall enabling business environment. By considering the full scope of the business case, companies can unlock opportunities for increased profit, growth, and innovation.

While the opportunity is promising, more clarity and guidance is needed by fund managers to understand how to put gender-smart investing into practice. To fill this knowledge gap, IFC, in partnership with CDC and support from the Government of Canada, developed Private Equity and Value Creation: A Fund Manager’s Guide to Gender-smart Investing.

The Guide is a practical step-by-step road map for fund managers on how to strengthen gender diversity within their own firms and incorporate a gender focus into investment operations. It combines learnings from CDC and IFC’s experience with over 160 fund managers and draws on best practices with a series of case studies from stakeholders across the industry.

  • The COVID-19 pandemic is steering the private equity industry to pursue focused value creation strategies, such as gender-smart investing, to help their portfolio companies recover with resilience and protect jobs.
  • Gender-smart investing is on the rise, with reported $4.8 billion raised in 2019 with a gender lens across private equity, venture capital and private debt vehicles.
  • Business case for investors to prioritize gender equality is compelling. Evidence shows that gender-smart investment strategies can help grow a company’s competitiveness, solidify its supply base, improve its human capital, and help build an overall enabling business environment. Fund Managers can unlock opportunities for increased profit, growth, and innovation.
  • The Guide combines learnings from CDC and IFC’s experience with over 160 Fund Managers and draws on best practice with a series of case studies from stakeholders across the private equity ecosystem. Includes steps to integrate gender in deal sourcing, due diligence, deal structuring, portfolio management, and exits; with over 20 case studies of gender-smart investing in practice.
  • While directed at Private Equity Fund Managers, particularly General Partners, many of the approaches set out in the Guide can be adopted by Limited Partners and other private sector investors across asset classes.

Access the guide here.

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