Private equity firm Pantheon Ventures (US) LP is taking steps to expand the number of minority individuals in the executive suites of U.S. private equity firms.
Pantheon is making a “substantial donation” over the next three years to the non-profit group Sponsors for Educational Opportunity for paid summer analyst positions in private equity. SEO will offer intensive training and mentors with an eye toward increasing the pool of minority candidates.
“Even though some progress has been made over the past 30 years, the financial services industry in general is still dominated by white males,” said Yokasta Segura-Baez, principal of U.S. client services and business development at Pantheon, in an e-mail. On its own, the percentage of Pantheon's U.S. minority employees increased to 15% from 6% three years ago, Ms. Segura-Baez said. But there are barriers to entry for applicants who are minorities, Ms. Segura-Baez said.
“Private equity is one of the hardest for minority candidates to get into because it's smaller and recruits from a small number of top universities,” where minorities are less represented, Ms. Segura-Baez wrote. “SEO provides a pool of talent that we and other (general partners) can pick from.”