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 initiatives to enhance diversity in our investee companies, as recently demonstrated through our collaboration with Harvard Business School on the Advent Leadership Academy, which aims to provide high-potential diverse leaders at our portfolio companies with the knowledge and skills to accelerate their professional development. In our communities we are working with organizations that are directly involved in helping to improve cohesion and support traditionally marginalized groups.
OUR DIVERSITY, EQUITY AND INCLUSION MISSION
We are committed to advocating and promoting diversity, equity 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 NWACHUKUAssociate New York
Goldman Sachs – Fintech
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.
"DEI is important because teams perform significantly better when you have a diverse team."
JULIANA ZAPATAVice President Bogotá
2015 and then again in 2020
Terranum – Finance
MBA, MIT Sloan School of Management
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 DEI 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.
DEI 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.
"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 BERCHEQAssociate London
Citigroup – Industrial
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.
"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 BIANVice President Hong Kong
Citi and Permira – Business and Financial Services
BBA, Finance and Management, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
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
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.
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.
The transformation is organized and measured around three central pillars that are each under-pinned by our unique culture:
It all starts with recruitment. We are building diverse global teams for the future, to meet the needs of our employees, to create diversity of thought, especially around our investment making decisions, and to connect with a diverse group of portfolio companies, investors and advisors. And for our junior and mid-level positions, we are educating and supporting underrepresented people who are interested in building a career in finance to consider a career in private equity. We believe this will benefit the industry as we all work towards shifting the landscape as a community.
The SEO Alternative Investment program helps to promote diversity in North America by providing education, networking opportunities, access, and career development to underrepresented professionals in the investment sector.
Advent has been working with the program, which helps young professionals from traditionally underrepresented populations (Black, Hispanic, Native American, and Asian women) prepare and apply for positions in the alternative assets space, since 2017. In 2020, Advent expanded its SEO involvement and established an internship program for young college students to educate them earlier on in private and public equity. We believe this will expand their career choices post college as Advent continues to be a mentor to them as they progress along their career journey.
Level 20 is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving gender diversity in the European private equity industry. Advent has played a leading role in Level 20 since its inception. Managing Partner James Brocklebank serves on the organization’s Advisory Council and Advent are also active members in Germany, where we lead the mentoring program.
Across the Americas, Advent pairs Associates with undergraduate and recent postgraduate females through a mentorship program to support their career advancement and be a sounding board as they go through the different phases of work and life experiences.
This includes on-campus discussions about Advent, private equity, why diversity is important, how to balance work and home, and Advent’s commitment to diversity.
Undergraduate internship program targeting underrepresented groups through summer and winter internship programs that support our deal teams on both our private and public equity platforms. Advent believes this provides young students access to a potential career in private equity when done with their studies and betters the private equity community as a whole.
of all new hires on the deal team in 2020 were female
Our benefits program is built around the diverse needs of all our employees. We recognise that people have very different needs at different points in their careers; for them to have a long and fulfilling future with Advent, they need to feel supported in all aspects of their life with the firm.
We support pay and promotion equity, inclusive benefit programs for all family structures, genders and sexual orientation, and promote a working environment that seeks balance in life through commitments to family, community service and outside interests.
- 20 back-up childcare days
- 10-back-up senior care days
- Breastmilk delivery
- Caregiver travel reimbursement
- Access to career coach
- Primary caregivers are eligible for up to 20 weeks of fully paid leave and secondary caregivers up to 3 weeks
- Fully paid transition back to work on a part-time schedule for up to 12 weeks
- Reimbursement for fertility treatment costs
- Reimbursement for family planning costs
- Fitness benefits
- Flexible working
Growing the future leadership of the firm from within is integral to the protection and development of our culture. We foster a creative environment that promotes engagement through awareness and training, help managers address and reduce unconscious biases, and break down stereotypes and perceived barriers to advancement opportunities to all underrepresented groups. The programs we have put in place are proactively designed to enable all employees equal opportunity to become the leaders of the future.
Advent has a robust mentorship program that provides support for employees at all levels in assisting them to navigate their careers and develop professionally.
In certain regions, Advent has expanded the program to include external mentors, for example in Latin America female investment professionals are matched with an external mentor to guide them in their career development.
ASPire encourages Advent leadership to aspire to be better and create opportunities for future female leaders. The program pairs our mid-to-senior deal level females with Partners to ensure equal opportunities to gain visibility, experience and support for career advancement.
Sponsors are advocates for the participants in this global program we work together to remove roadblocks that women face as they grow into more senior roles at our firm. As part of ASPire, Advent provides a quarterly speaker series with female leaders to further their education around topics such as power and influence, self-advocacy, personal branding, networks and leadership.
of all deal team members
of all employees
Our corporate culture runs through all of our initiatives. We expect our people to voice-up within a culture that values difference. In fact, encouraging open debate is a critical component of who we are and our overall mission. We want to recruit the best into a culture that allows them to be their best selves at every stage in their Advent journey. We view diversity and inclusion objectives with the same lens as any critical business objective where all people feel respected and treated fairly. Our inclusive culture is critical to Advent’s success in building a firm that hires, develops and retains extraordinary people, where everyone thrives and is given opportunities to succeed.
WIN (Women’s Inclusion Network) is our internal program that provides women at all levels of the firm with the opportunity to network within Advent and the wider finance community. The program comprises networking events, inspirational speakers, targeted training and an external mentoring program.
AdventUNITE is our affinity group for employees that identify as LGBTQ+ and their allies. We seek to ensure that all colleagues, regardless of sexual or gender orientation, are able to flourish professionally by bringing their full selves to work every single day.
Additionally we are proud to be among the initial participants in Out Investors, a network focusing on networking, advocacy and recruiting amongst LGBTQ+ investment professionals.
Our Speaker Series was established to promote education and discussion on diversity and inclusion. This is part of a long-term project to help us better understand these complex and nuanced issues.
To accomplish this, we have an internal and external speaker series. Internally, we host global panels comprised of Advent female leaders across regions that meet with our female cohorts. We bring in renowned speakers from across the globe to help managers understand how to support employees balance work and life, specific challenges around having children, building transparency into equity and reward conversations and more.
of Partners are diverse*
* Represents all diverse backgrounds – gender, ethnic, and LGBTQ+
This journey towards greater diversity and inclusion is overseen by a firmwide DEI Committee and regional sub-committees that draw from a broad spectrum of leadership.