Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Private equity 'a force for good'. Repeat. Repeat.

I posted last year about the curious reoccurrence of the phrase ‘a force for good’ in much commentary about private equity. A striking number of senior people from the buyout business used the term.

I thought I would have a quick trawl around to see if it is still cropping up, and not only is it still appearing but it is spreading by the looks of it. I said previously I don’t think this is a deliberate attempt to manipulate language, I’m not so sure now though. What’s even more annoying is the way that the phrase is being used without thought by people discussing private equity, even though it has no factual basis (I’m not making a point about the merits of PE here, rather how can it be proven to be ‘good’?).

Here's what I could find from 2008 just from a quick trawl:

Notably the BVCA really go to town on ‘a force for good’ and in fact it is actually one of their objectives for the year to get this message across.
"1. Private equity is a force for good"

Australian opinion research
"Australian businesses think private equity is a force for good"

Guy Hands
Private equity “is unquestionably a force for good”.

Michael Snyder, chairman of the policy and resources committee for the City of London
"The industry is working hard to be more transparent and should be seen as a force for good."

Charlie McCreevey
"I have never viewed private equity as anything other than a force for good in advancing economic progress and ensuring that Europe adapts to the realities of the global marketplace."

Management Today
"If private equity wants to survive and flourish, it must come out of its shell and prove to a sceptical public that it is a force for good in the UK economy, as it has always insisted."

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