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Private equity powering ahead

A fresh round of private equity deals in Australia signals relatively healthy employment prospects in the private equity sector locally.

Two recent buyouts – the purchase of Coates Hire by American private equity firm Carlyle Group, and the snaring of DCA Agedcare Group by a UK-based healthcare provider – show there is still plenty of life in the private equity sector.

Victoria Biggs, a consultant at Sydney-based Jon Michelle Executive Recruitment, confirms private equity recruiters are still on their feet – albeit not running as fast as they were recently: “Over the last three years, the private equity sector in Australia has enjoyed threefold growth, and while the pace is slowing, the sector is still very much in growth mode.”

According to Biggs, “The recent credit crunch has impacted the appetite to do deals but not the desire to hire.” She adds, “The private equity sector tends to take a long-term outlook to hiring, and because roles within private equity tend to be multi-dimensional, there are still strong employment prospects even when the number of deals has slowed.”

Biggs says Aus private equity firms have been hiring across the board. Going forward, she predicts recruitment will focus on analysts [juniors]: “We’re moving into a phase where a lot of senior team members are already in place, and given the remuneration enticements that are used to retain staff members, there may be little movement at the top. We’re more likely to see hiring at the junior end.”

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