PitchBook has been recently highlighting the increased public pressure on private equity firms. High profile failures such as Toys R Us have garnered public ire as Democratic Presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren has made it a talking point on her campaign. As the presidential election proceeds we can expect to hear more.
Needless to say, firms are under increasing pressure to embrace transparent practices.
All that said, now would be a good time for private equity firms to be more transparent, especially about their investments that don't pan out...Releasing metrics on returns and fund performance, or showing where money is being invested, would be a good start in changing the narrative. The Deadspin debacle aside, Boston-based growth firm Great Hill Partners lists case studies of successful investments on its website, giving the public a view of how it organically drives revenue. Why not follow that lead? When things go bad, explaining why certain decisions are made—such as cutting costs—just might help slow down the nearly constant stream of negative rhetoric around private equity.