STAMFORD, Conn., Dec. 4, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Since Atlantic Street Capital ("Atlantic Street") became the first private equity firm to launch an institutional effort to recruit women for its portfolio company boards and other top positions, the firm has taken significant steps in advancing gender diversity across key areas of leadership.
The jump in bringing in more women to its portfolio companies top roles comes since Atlantic Street announced a commitment last year to help improve gender diversity in private equity – an industry where women hold only 8% of senior investor roles. The firm hired Susan Stautberg, the founder and former CEO/chair of WomenCorporateDirectors, as Governance Advisor to lead this effort. Atlantic Street's milestones include:
In 2019, the firm hired and/or promoted 11 female executives to its portfolio companies.
In the past year, it has added 3 women to company boards with a number of others in the interview process.
Atlantic Street has hired a female CFO at one of the largest franchise companies it owns, and has added more women to C-suite positions across the portfolio.
8 of the 20 operating advisors at Atlantic Street's portfolio companies are now women.
For some of its key portfolio companies, the firm is creating Advisory Boards – composed largely of women – to bring more diversity to discussions around strategy and operations.
Recent research by The Wall Street Journal supports findings from studies by McKinsey, Credit Suisse, and others: companies with more diversity on the board and in leadership roles and stronger diversity and inclusion programs enjoy better operating profit margins (12% vs. 8%) and higher 5-year and 10-year shareholder returns (10% and 14% vs. 4.2% and 12%) than companies scoring poorly along these metrics.
"Putting in conscious effort and looking for the best candidates is the way to improve diversity in private equity," says Atlantic Street Managing Partner Andy Wilkins, who helped bring Stautberg on board. "With women still representing only a small fraction of top positions in the field, it will take a larger effort to move the numbers more broadly."
PE firms' buyout businesses – which generate the highest revenues – are where the firms can most expand their gender diversity, Stautberg says. "This area has much room for growth because you rarely see women in charge. But we can count on a domino effect. As more women join the deal-making teams, you will start to see a greater comfort level across the industry with bringing women on to run the newly acquired companies and take them to the next level."
Atlantic Street, which targets entrepreneurial businesses poised for their next level of growth, actively recruits women for roles at its own firm and ensures that there are female candidates for every CEO, C-suite, and board roles at its portfolio companies.
For more information, please contact Suzanne Oaks Brownstein of Temin and Company at 212-588-8788 or [email protected].
About Atlantic Street Capital Atlantic Street Capital is a private equity firm that invests in middle market companies with between $4 million and $12 million of EBITDA. The firm invests in fundamentally sound companies that will benefit from capital investment and value-adding strategic and operational initiatives. Atlantic Street Capital's partners are hands-on investors who work closely with management to unlock their business' underlying value and help them succeed. The firm is currently investing in Atlantic Street Capital IV, LP. For more information, visit www.atlanticstreetcapital.com.