Private equity firms to create trade association

NEW YORK: Some of the nation's largest private equity firms are in the midst of creating the industry's first ever trade association, which promises to have a strong hand in the public debate over regulation of the powerful buyout specialists.

NEW YORK: Some of the nation's largest private equity firms are in the midst of creating the industry's first ever trade association, which promises to have a strong hand in the public debate over regulation of the powerful buyout specialists.

The group, dubbed the Private Equity Council, is currently in a development phase. A source close to the group said that it should be formally up and running before the end of 2006.

Sources describe the PEC as primarily a public affairs and lobbying organization, designed to boost the acceptance of private equity's work in the economy among the public, media, and lawmakers. The group has not selected PR agency representation, but may at some point in the future.

The man tasked with organizing the PEC's structure, according to Investment Dealers' Digest, is Harry Clark, a management consultant who heads his own firm, the Stanwich Group. Clark also works in an "of counsel" capacity for Brunswick Group.

The Blackstone Group, Carlyle Group, KKR, and Texas Pacific Group, all huge PE players, are the organization's founding sponsors. More members will likely be added when the PEC has launched.

The trade group's formation comes at a time when private equity is under scrutiny for its swelling economic power and suspicions of collusion between major firms.

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