The Back Office Steps Front and Center

Share via email

By Bronwyn Bailey, Vice President Research, Private Equity Growth Capital Council (PEGCC)

Private equity’s narrative has typically centered on its entrepreneurial founders and savvy dealmakers. Individuals in the so-called “back office” kept accurate accounting and made timely limited partner (LP) communications but were rarely given the spotlight. Changes brought by the global financial crisis and the industry’s maturation have increased the prominence of these roles. The Private Equity Growth Capital Council (PEGCC) has responded by offering more resources and educational settings to assist the development of these roles.


One of the biggest shifts in the U.S. private equity industry is the requirement that firms with over $150 million in assets register with the SEC. Firms must now document their compliance programs and undergo SEC exams. In response, many firms in the industry have hired Chief Compliance Officers (CCOs) to oversee compliance. Compliance is one of the most discussed topics in the industry, and the reason why the PEGCC created a CCO Working Group, where experts and CCOs meet regularly to convey best practices.


Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) have always been responsible for fund accounting, capital calls, and portfolio company valuations. Today, CFOs may be asked to lead the implementation of IT systems to ensure cybersecurity and to choose software to expedite the transmission of fund financials to LPs. Increasingly, CFOs are also playing a role in compliance, particularly concerning company valuations. CFOs’ oversight of these additional areas motivated the PEGCC to create an annual CFO Day as a forum for peer sharing and professional insights.

Investor Relations

Since the financial crisis, fundraising has become more difficult. In addition to heightened competition for capital, Investor Relations (IR) professionals must navigate market dynamics while also managing longer due diligence periods, supplementary LP requests, ESG requirements, and new regulatory regimes, such as AIFMD in Europe. The additional demands quickly expand the role’s scope. By organizing IR Committee meetings to discuss these challenges and seminars to help develop, implement, and advance ESG initiatives, the PEGCC is supporting the professionalization of this evolving role at private equity firms.

While the reputation of a firm is driven mainly by the success of its portfolio companies, a strong back office sets apart firms that can more easily adapt to an evolving business environment. The PEGCC is there to help our members steer through these changes.


BB 2014 cropped

Bronwyn Bailey heads the Research team at the Private Equity Growth Capital Council (PEGCC).  She has been conducting research and analytics for business engagements for almost 15 years. Prior to joining the PEGCC, she managed an analytics team at BlackRock to optimize marketing efforts and promote asset growth of iShares ETF products. She was formerly the research director at SVB Capital, the private equity division of SVB Financial Group. Bronwyn is speaking at the inaugural SuperReturn CFO/COO Forum in Amsterdam, 29 September – 1 October.

Danger Signals Ahead For Asian PE Firms – And It’s Not The Macro You Need To Be Worried About

Share via email

Professor Peter Goodson, Berkeley – Hass Business School and Retired Clayton, Dubilier & Rice Partner is speaking at SuperReturn Asia 2014, Hong Kong, 22-25 September. The following is a preview of Peter’s presentation on Day Two of the Main Conference, ‘Danger Signals Ahead for Asian PE Firms and It’s Not the Macro You Need to Be Worried About…A…

60 Seconds With Stephen Hoey, KPS Capital Partners

Share via email

Stephen Hoey, Partner, Administration, Chief Financial And Compliance Officer of KPS Capital Partners shares some insights into what makes an ideal private equity CFO in our latest 60 Second interview. Extra due diligence – burden or a good long-term thing for the industry?  Both. It is certainly a burden for those of us on the GP…

5 Unmissable Guest Speakers At SuperReturn Asia 2014

Share via email

The SuperReturn Asia 2014 conference in Hong Kong, 22-25 September, promises a quality programme featuring 60+ LP speakers and only the very best GPs from the Asia-Pacific region. You can also expect to see and hear from experts from outside the industry, including these five inspirational guest speakers:   The Branding Expert Ken Segall Tuesday 23…

Evolution of the Secondaries Market – Andre Bourbonnais CPPIB

Share via email

André Bourbonnais spoke at SuperInvestor last year and will join us again in Paris this November. We caught up with André at the 2013 event to ask about CPPIB’s recent transactions and what the next 12 months will bring. How do you see the market for your particular type of investments? Last year you made…

Turning your Back Office into a Competitive Advantage

Share via email

As global alternative investment managers drive international operational improvements in their portfolio companies, are there lessons to be learnt and applied for GP operating models? Gordon Stuart, Chief Financial Officer of TMF Group, a private equity backed international professional services firm in over 75 countries, examines the challenges of cross-border operations. Sometimes in corporate life…

Ted Beneski – A Look At Insight Equity’s Acquisition Strategy

Share via email

Ted Beneski, CEO & Managing Partner at Insight Equity gives us an inside look at how Insight Equity approaches acquisitions. Watch the video below for the full interview filmed at SuperInvestor U.S 2014. Hear more from Ted Beneski at the upcoming SuperReturn U.S. conference at the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel, 9 -12 June, where he will speak on…

60 Seconds With J. Daniel Parker of Helmsley Trust

Share via email

J. Daniel Parker of Helmsley Charitable Trust shares some insights ahead of SuperReturn U.S. 2014 in Boston, 9-12 June, where he will speak on the LP Confidential panel on the second day of the Main Conference. Dan Parker is an Investment Officer at the Helmsley Charitable Trust. He is responsible for strategy development, general research, manager research and…

Private Equity Focuses On Africa

Share via email

With interest in the continent at an all time high, SuperReturn is pleased to host a day dedicated to private equity in Africa. The pre-conference Africa Summit is a new feature on the programme at this year’s SuperReturn Emerging Markets conference in Amsterdam, 24-27 June. The Summit will examine in depth what is happening on the…

The Clash of Historical Memory: The “Century of Humiliation” vs. the “Post- WWII Liberal World Order ”

Share via email

By David Blair This article was first published in China Currents, 2013: Vol. 12, No.2. The U.S. and China share many fundamental interests. Their economies are so tightly intertwined that any disruption would be extremely painful to both sides. There are no substantial, quantifiable disagreements between the two countries — meaning that there are no…