Report says private equity needs to be more open

PR agencies could be set for a boost if the first findings of an independent report on the private equity industry are implemented.

Walker: author of the report
Walker: author of the report

The Walker Report, comm­issioned in March by the British Venture Capital ­Association (BVCA), says the industry should be less secretive.

It recommends that private equity-owned companies that have previously been within the FTSE-250 or have more than 1,000 employees should produce twice-yearly reports. It also calls for each private equity buyout house to produce an annual review.

‘Private equity needs to become more open,’ Walker said in a 50-page interim report on Tuesday, three months before his final findings are expected. He also said the industry was seen as ‘needlessly secretive’.

The BVCA itself is expected to play a major role in the newly open private equity industry, with the report calling for a ‘centre of excellence for the private equity industry that should come to be seen and respected as such’. The Centre of Excellence would gather information about the industry and fill ‘the void that currently exists in terms of credibility and authority’.

The BVCA is on the hunt for a new CEO and is in command of a £1m war chest to defend the reputation of the private equity industry.

ALSO... The BVCA has asked PRWeek to clarify that it is Sir David Walker who has brought in PR agency M: Communications to publicise The Walker Report (PRWeek, 13 July) and not the BVCA itself.

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