New program helps investment professionals better understand this growing asset class.
PA: Private equity used to be an investment option only for highly sophisticated, ultra-wealthy investors. Today, private equity ownership is a major factor in financial markets all over the world, and investment professionals and institutional investors can no longer afford to ignore it.

Wharton Executive Education at the University of Pennsylvania is now offering a unique four-day program, Private Equity: Investing and Creating Value, that will help participants gain exposure to the strategies that private equity firms use to structure and finance a deal and create value for their investors. They will understand the key drivers in private equity and gain confidence in evaluating investment opportunities.

The program is taught by Wharton Private Equity Professor Bilge Yilmaz who also leads Wharton’s Alternative Investments Initiative. It provides some of the same innovative private equity curriculum that gives an edge to Wharton’s MBA and undergraduate students. Yilmaz will be joined by other Wharton faculty and by alumni who work in private equity. Participants will have the opportunity to engage with faculty and speakers through focused Q&A sessions, as well as during breakout sessions.

“The industry has evolved over the past 30 years and the skills you need to succeed have also changed,” says Yilmaz. “Today, you have to be good at sourcing and due diligence. You need to see value where others can’t. Through this program, you will develop a different perspective on private equity companies, and develop a new set of tools to make you more effective in investing in private equities.”

A unique feature of the program is the “Making of a Deal Proposal.” In this highly interactive role play and deal analysis, participants will analyze a deal from two different points of view — as a private equity firm and as a bank preparing debt documents. Yilmaz explains: “Participants will create an investment thesis that explains why they want to own a particular business, and then present that thesis to a panel of professionals who work on these kinds of deals every day. This is the best way to learn. You come up with a plan, and then get real-time feedback. This is not just an exercise — it’s a reality check.”

Private Equity: Investing and Creating Value is designed for institutional investors, investment professionals, private bankers, entrepreneurs in the process of receiving and/or structuring capital funds, principals who invest in private equity and venture capital firms, and other professionals seeking to deepen their knowledge of the private equity landscape. “This broad audience will help you understand private equity from multiple perspectives,” says Yilmaz. “You will have direct access to leading professionals in the industry giving you a 360-degree view of the process. Understanding the risks will be invaluable.”

Private Equity: Investing and Creating Value will be offered at Wharton’s Philadelphia campus. The program will be held from October 17–20, 2016. To enroll, or for more information, please visit the website or contact Wharton Executive Education at +1.215.898.1776 or execed@wharton.upenn.edu.