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Buyside firms waving $200k+ packages at women, minorities

With recruitment of juniors at banks and buy-side firm at record highs this year, all talent is at a premium, but headhunters on both sides of the Atlantic say talent that ticks diversity boxes is at even more of a premium than most. 

"There's huge demand for women on the buy-side," says Anthony Keizner, partner at Odyssey Search Partners in New York. "And even more than women, there's big demand for those of a racial diversity background. Investors are happy with private equity returns, but they want funds to make improvements to their diversity and inclusion statistics."

Keizner says Odyssey's own research suggests that no more than 10-15% of investment professionals in private equity are female. A study last year by Preqin found that globally the proportion of women working in the alternative assets industry was 19.7%, up from 18.8% in 2017. As Marcos Rodriguez, Chairman and CEO of New York City-based Palladium Equity Partners, told us last month, this is a problem:  “When you have people from the same backgrounds, with the same points of view, looking at the same data you can get groupthink. It’s a recipe for bad decisions.”

The push to hire diverse talent into U.S. private equity funds is also in evidence in Europe. One German private equity headhunter said funds are increasingly saying they only want him to provide female candidates and are willing to lower the bar for female hires. "I've had three companies telling me that if they hire male candidates they will only accept applications from the bulge bracket, but women can apply even if they're from a midcap firm or boutique," he said. 

As funds focus on diversifying their ranks, pay for hard to find hires is increasing. In the U.S.,Keizner said PE funds have responded to increased compensation at investment banks by hiking their offers. "In order to attract an analyst from an investment bank, it used to be the case that buy-side firms offering $180k were seen to be providing a good premium. Now the most common buy-side offer is $200k, at least."

Have a confidential story, tip, or comment you’d like to share? Contact: sbutcher@efinancialcareers.com in the first instance. Whatsapp/Signal/Telegram also available. Bear with us if you leave a comment at the bottom of this article: all our comments are moderated by human beings. Sometimes these humans might be asleep, or away from their desks, so it may take a while for your comment to appear. Eventually it will – unless it’s offensive or libelous (in which case it won’t.)

Photo by Raphael Rychetsky on Unsplash

 

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AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor
  • Al
    Alan
    22 May 2021

    Good luck finding a job if you are a young white male in your mid 20s.
    I found it hard during the 2007-2008 period but now would struggle even more if I was 25 again.

  • Th
    TheVogon
    21 May 2021

    That's a lot to pay a token employee. After all the market price is lower.

  • Mi
    Minnow
    21 May 2021

    How is this not illegal ? The UK has laws to prevent discriminatory hiring, and i'm pretty sure the EU has similar laws.

  • N.
    N.A.
    21 May 2021

    So, PE firms and investment banks are more racist and sexiest now than they have been since the 1950s, but their new persona non grata is the straight white male. Not surprising, that's fashionable now.

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