Los Angeles Fire & Police Pensions on Nov. 17 joined private equity emerging manager program manager Fairview Capital Partners for their inaugural "Investing in Inclusion" event to give new managers tips on building a firm and navigating the fundraising process.
One of the main messages is it isn't easy, it requires a hefty dose of the entrepreneurial spirit and the backing of family, friends and mentors to make it through at least 18 months without an income. And aspiring private equity general partners have to be really good at being told "no," according to the speakers who included Fairview executives, LAFPP officials and emerging managers involved in the pension fund's program.
Miriam Rivera, co-founder and managing director of Ulu Ventures, an early seed stage venture capital fund, said her firm converted to an institutional firm from a family office with the help of mentors including Susan Mason, managing partner of venture capital firm Aligned Partners. It took 18 months for Ulu to raise its first fund.
The virtual conference was open to managers that qualify for what the $25.3 billion pension fund calls its private equity specialized manager program. LAFPP's definition includes managers on their first through third institutional fund with targets of $500 million or less and the program may also have general partners who are minorities, women, lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, and/or disabled veterans.
Ms. Rivera said for many years she found venture capital to be the most inhospitable of any industry in which she had worked. "And I have worked in male-dominated industries for most of my career," said Ms. Rivera, who before forming Ulu was vice president and deputy general counsel at Google.
Takashi Moriuchi, co-founder and managing director of Estancia Capital Management LLC, said new GPs have to be entrepreneurial and be "comfortable with people telling you no." People considering forming a new firm also need to ask themselves "how long they can personally stand without making what you usually make for your family and double that," he said.