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Saturday, April 29, 2006

Private Equity Lawyers As Rock Stars

Private equity is back in fashion. From doing record breaking deals in new regions like India to a significant increase in the number of deals that get closed, the private equity cult is back in fashion. Asian giants like China & India are also attracting private equity in a big way. Even in emerging markets like India, recent large and prominent exits by venture firms & private equity firms are further spurring interest in the market.The technology market in the US is also beginning to attract lot of private equity interest. No wonder the NYTimes reports that private equity players in the midst of huge growth, are now desperately trying to hire lawyers with skill set in finance. The available positions range from associates and partners to general counsels at private equity firms. The pay scale ranges from $150,000 for junior associates to "very comfortable seven figures" for some partners and general counsels. At many firms, the compensation tends to be higher than for comparable lawyers who are not doing private equity. Private equity players attribute the growth to not only in the traditional US regions but are seeing terrific growth in global areas such as China, India and Europe. Look at the impressive numbers- some $163 billion in private equity funds financed 697 deals in 2005, another survey found that in the first quarter of this year, venture capitalists invested $5.6 billion in 761 deals, a 12 increase over the first quarter of 2005. I was flying back friday night with a software industry veteran - I asked him what his next moves are likely to be career wise. Prompt came the reply - Get into private equity space advising buyouts and sale- the equivalent of a managing partnerin venture firms.Vivek Paul is seen as being highly active in the related space of venture investments. Interesting times indeed.

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