A war for talent is heating up across the private equity industry. As new funds form at a high pace and existing firms expand to keep up with record fundraising hauls, experienced financial services professionals “now have options,” says  PwC private equity lead Manoj Mahenthiran. “There’s a demand for talent and it’s becoming harder” to recruit, he says.

Fund formation and expanding private equity firms are only part of the phenomena boosting demand for experienced dealmakers and analysts. Across the financial services industry, professionals who would normally constitute the pipeline for new PE talent like junior investment bankers are winning salary increases and more flexible work arrangements to keep them loyal—in banking and other financial services’ own bids to keep pace with public offerings and mergers topping record levels.

Recall what EY’s global TMT practice leader Barak Ravid said at a media roundtable earlier this summer: “The limiting factor to getting deals done is the availability of advisors, so you know it’s very, very busy.”

How do employers differentiate their offers in response? “We as a firm spend a lot of time helping, guiding firms listening to employees more,” to create a more attractive working environment, Mahenthiran says.

“At the portfolio company level too, companies have to fight for good people,” he elaborates. “[Companies] have to show they’re taking ESG seriously or the young people aren’t going to want to work there.”

Brandon Zero