August 11, 2009
I am an attorney in private practice. I also co-founded a private equity firm that invests in renewable energy. We provide early-stage development capital for projects.
I oppose the ban on placement agents for the following reasons:
1. The ban would prevent smaller, less-established PE firms like mine from accessing pension capital. Especially in this economy, we need the advice and assistance of legitimate, experienced finders. And we need to outsource that function because our limited resources and deal flow don't justify an in-house sales position. Remember that smaller firms are the ones more likely to provide early-stage development capital. If you cut off our investors, you reduce the pool of capital for socially-worthwhile projects in renewable energy and other sectors.
2. The broad language of the ban seems to apply (inadvertently) to fee-based networking websites such as LinkedIn, Go Big Network, and Craigslist. The SEC should promote, not discourage, the use of interactive media in the private equity industry.