STRENGTH THROUGH DIVERSITY

The next decade will be a transformational one for Advent, as we recruit and develop a new, diverse generation of talent, for a new world of work. This is essential for three reasons. Firstly, we passionately believe that greater diversity will further strengthen our open, inclusive culture. Secondly, diverse teams ask better questions and therefore help us make better investment decisions. Lastly, it is the right thing to do.

We are making positive change globally across Advent’s offices, within our portfolio companies and in the communities in which we operate. At the portfolio level, we are working alongside management to drive D&I initiatives in our investee companies. In our communities we are working with organizations that are directly involved in helping to improve cohesion and support traditionally marginalized groups.

 

OUR DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION MISSION

We are committed to advocating and promoting diversity and inclusion within Advent, our boards, our portfolio companies and our advisors. We believe success means equality of opportunity for all of our people, thus creating an inclusive environment that values diversity of background, experience, ideas and opinions. Enhancing diversity efforts across all underrepresented groups supports our most important asset, our employees, and, we believe, makes us more competitive and better investors.

 

In our own words

"The Investment Committee routinely ask the Associates for their view first. It’s daunting, but also a real measure of respect for the more junior members of the team.”


EDWARD NWACHUKU

Associate New York
Joined
2019
Past experience
Goldman Sachs – Fintech
Education
BA, Economics, University of Chicago

Why I joined Advent
At the recruitment phase I met people from different levels of the firm both formally and informally. They had a consistent view on life and work; team players, no big egos, seriously focused on growth. The more people I met, the more it felt like Advent would be the right place for me.

What I learnt from the SEO Program
It’s useful in practical terms with things like interview prep and the ability to familiarize yourself with the kind of private equity investment materials you wouldn’t normally see. It also gave me exposure to lots of different firms and a real insight into the types of people and culture.

My experience so far
I completed my first investment during lockdown – it’s an amazing opportunity to move from analyst to investor in such a short space of time. I was responsible for modelling and micro-level analysis. Regardless of your official tasks, you are expected to have a view on everything relevant to the investment.

The Advent culture
It’s a consensus driven, partnership culture – people at all levels want to help you succeed. At Investment Committee they’ll routinely ask the Associates for their view first. It’s daunting, but also a real measure of respect for the more junior members of the team.

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"D&I is important because teams perform significantly better when you have a diverse team."


JULIANA ZAPATA

Vice President Bogotá
Joined
2015 and then again in 2020
Past experience
Terranum – Finance
Education
MBA, MIT Sloan School of Management

Initial experiences
I joined Advent as a graduate trainee at 23. It was my first full time work experience and things were pretty challenging and fluid from the start but every day I learnt from people with a whole range of experiences working across different companies and sectors. During my early years I was seconded to two portfolio companies, which gave me massive insight operationally and the opportunity to interact with senior leaders in Columbian business at a young age.

Feeling part of a global team
Culturally, the firm has very good mechanisms for bringing together the whole global team. I went to Boston for two weeks when I joined and have attended a series of worldwide meetings, offsites and team fundraising events. It feels like you’re able to build relationships across the world that go beyond the purely professional. In Colombia, the sense of togetherness is even stronger because the office is small and the senior team put a lot of effort into building a collegiate working environment. This has continued during lockdown with lots of Zoom sessions covering everything from yoga to Bingo.

How has the approach to D&I changed since you’ve been at the firm?
Obviously it can be over-whelming when you see mostly men – but I’ve never felt like I was treated differently. Senior leaders always encouraged the junior members to speak up and participate in the conversations.

When I left in 2018 there was not much in place, but when I re-joined, I was amazed by what had been done. There is still a lot to do but it’s a real focus of the firm and people at all levels of the firm discuss it now. In Lat-Am we have very specific objectives, organising unconscious bias training, feedback, speakers and mentoring. Have also been speaking to senior women across the firm to get their input.

D&I in Latin America
Advent has a good culture but when you’re a minority it can be over-whelming. Not only thinking about women but other minorities that may not have felt like they have a voice within the firm. D&I is important because teams perform significantly better when you have a diverse team.

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"During my first week at the firm, one of the Managing Partner asked my opinion on the project we were working on – it’s that kind of place."


ZINAB BERCHEQ

Associate London
Joined
2018
Past experience
Citigroup – Industrial
Education
MSc, Finance and Strategy, Sciences Po

Why I joined Advent
I come from Morocco so was a bit outside traditional finance markets. When I got my first finance job in London, I always knew that my end goal would be private equity. I liked the idea of informed risk taking. On the advisory side I got exposure to a lot of the PE firms and Advent always had a strong reputation for excellence amongst peers, particularly for the importance it attached to interrogating the business and market fundamentals.

What I have gained from the Women’s Inclusion Network (‘WIN’) Program
I’ve benefitted from presentations on things like executive presence and communication skills as well as talks from more senior women about what it’s like to progress within the industry. Just as importantly, there’s a good informal network of women in the firm who get together on a pretty regular basis. I’ve also been impressed by the benefits package and the way it’s communicated. It feels like everything possible is put in place to enable both women and men to have a family when the time is right - without it prejudicing career advancement.

My experience so far
It’s a big change in working environment from investment banking. You get to know people much more closely. There’s a massive amount of exposure to different workstreams/topics that you are expected to take ownership of and you really have to own the answer – the culture is all about rigorous truth seeking.

The Advent culture
The most junior person on a team might be exposed to details that are really important to the success of the whole project so there is a commercial expectation that you voice up. I quickly realised that I had to take ownership of my opinion and voice it. During my first week at the firm, one of the Managing Partner asked my opinion on the project we were working on – it’s that kind of place.

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"There is a huge emphasis on travel and making meaningful connections across the firm, equally, there is constant information sharing on investment ideas through Slack and other channels."


SERENA BIAN

Vice President Hong Kong
Joined
2019
Past experience
Citi and Permira – Business and Financial Services
Education
BBA, Finance and Management, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

First impressions
The interview process was very extensive, which told me something right from the start about the consensus driven culture and thoroughness of the firm. It was also a very international process. During my final round of interviews in Boston, I could see that you are encouraged to get close to colleagues around the world and make connections with substance.

The ASPire mentorship program
I was one of the first to join the Aspire scheme, so I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to define the parameters and tailor it to my needs. My sponsor is a Partner in the London office whom I met during a very early trip to the UK. He has given me useful tips on how to navigate and progress through the firm. I’ve been able to get his perspective on investments that I’m looking at in China and gain a more complete, senior level, understanding of what makes an ‘Advent Investment’ and what the Investment Committee is looking for. Recently he has also brought me in to give a Chinese perspective on a global opportunity that was originated in the US.

Global information flows
Although I am part of the Shanghai team with responsibility for Chinese Business & Financial Services investments, I am also very strongly networked into the global sector and sub-sector teams. There is a huge emphasis on travel and making meaningful connections across the firm, equally, there is constant information sharing on investment ideas through Slack and other channels. As a global team, the China perspective has relevance for many opportunities, regardless of where the investment is being led from.

Communication tips
One of the key success criteria in a people-based business like Advent is being able to communicate effectively with people from different backgrounds all over the world. I know I am different, but so are the people I am speaking to, and one of the key things I have taken from training is to look for similarities with the people I am meeting. I think I make a pretty good impression because I prepare myself well and look for that common ground.

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The transformation is organized and measured around three central pillars that are each under-pinned by our unique culture:

 

 

 

 

OVERSIGHT

This journey towards greater diversity and inclusion is overseen by a firmwide D&I Committee and regional sub-committees that draw from a broad spectrum of leadership.

 

ADVENT’S GLOBAL D&I COMMITTEE


Ann Anastasia Vice President HR, Americas and Greater China Boston
Johanna Barr Managing Director and Global Co-Head of Limited Partner Services London
Nicolas Chavanne Managing Director London
Tricia Glynn Managing Director Boston
Gurinder Grewal Managing Director Boston
Shweta Jalan Managing Director Mumbai
Yusef M. Kassim Managing Director New York
Enrique Pani Managing Director Mexico City
Martina Pfeifer Director Frankfurt
Nick Rose Managing Director London

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