Between Labor Day and Election Day, the Association for Corporate Growth is conducting a public relations campaign about the role private equity plays in the U.S. economy. The campaign continues efforts the organization has been leading for about three years to educate the public about private equity.
One component is a series of advertisements, titled, "I am private capital," representing individuals affected by private investors. The ads are based on an amalgam of anecdotal stories from ACG members and investment groups and funds that have benefited from private capital investment. For example, the ad on page 23 shows a man wearing a hard hat and a white lab coat. He looks as if he might be a supervisor at a manufacturing plant. The caption reads: "I was nervous when my company was acquired by private investors. But they are putting their money to work with new equipment to add jobs and serve more customers. My job is the story of middle-market growth."
"There's a vision of private equity as a bunch of Wall Street guys, and that is simply not the case," says Pam Hendrickson, ACG vice chairman and the chief operating officer of the Riverside Co. "Forty percent of the money that goes into private equity is coming from pension funds. When you see a picture of a construction worker, or a teacher or a fireman, these are the real people who are benefitting from private capital."