6 December 2020

Coller Capital and Akin Gump Launch Women in Secondaries Network

Coller Capital, one of the world's foremost investors in private equity's secondary market, and leading international law firm Akin Gump are pleased to announce the launch of their “Women in Secondaries” network.

The network seeks to empower, promote and support women working in the secondaries industry through quarterly networking and knowledge-sharing events for industry peers and contacts. The initiative was formally launched on Monday, December 7, with a jointly hosted virtual event attended by 50 guests from the industry, featuring guest speakers, breakout room networking and cocktail packages pre-delivered to guests by Mayfair’s Kwant bar.

One of the most impactful parts of the launch event was a fireside chat between journalist, author and broadcaster Matthew Syed and Akin Gump’s Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, an inspirational former U.S. Congresswoman who was the first Hispanic woman to be elected to Congress, breaking glass ceilings en route to serving for almost three decades, whom Matthew interviewed about her career and experiences.  In the course of her long political career, Ileana became a leader in crafting U.S. foreign policy and is now a senior advisor at Akin Gump.

Louise Boothby, partner at Coller Capital in London, commented: “By Coller Capital and Akin Gump joining forces to launch this network and programme of events, we combine our respective strengths. We can help offer insight and support to women across the private equity and finance sectors who are looking to learn skills and find the information that will help them succeed, as well as to create a strong community of women to support each other's professional development.”

Kim Koopersmith, chair of Akin Gump, commented: “This program dovetails brilliantly with two of our firm’s key objectives. We are partnering with a highly valued client, and we are taking our commitment to diversity and inclusion to an even higher level both in the firm and in the funds community. I am passionate about furthering the careers of women, and this is a wonderful opportunity for our firm and Coller Capital to continue to advance this crucial objective.”

Mary Lavelle, fund formation and secondaries partner at Akin Gump, continued: “The firm is delighted to join together with our longstanding client Coller Capital to launch such an exciting new initiative.

“Industry publication Secondaries Investor reported just a few months ago that they had received less than 4 percent of submissions to their annual secondaries-focused “Next Gen Leaders” list from female applicants, which was alarming to read. It is well documented that women are under-represented in senior positions within private equity, but even worse to think that the same patterns may already be emerging for the next generation.

“We hope that, by setting up this network, we will help to promote further diversity and inclusion across the industry at all levels through empowerment and exchange of ideas, whilst also providing a forum for knowledge-sharing and networking.

“Our launch event was a fantastic success, and we intend to build on that in the coming months and years and grow this network as a powerful long-term platform to drive change.”

For anyone wishing to attend future quarterly events organized by the Women in Secondaries network, please contact Mary Lavelle and John Daghlian at Akin Gump using the Women in Secondaries e-mail address (wis@akingump.com).

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP is a leading international law firm with more than 900 lawyers and advisors in offices throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Founded in 1945, the firm is proudly celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2020. #AkinGump75

About Coller Capital

Coller Capital, founded in 1990, is one of the world's leading investors in private equity's secondary market – widely acknowledged as an innovator and a stand-out player at the complex end of secondaries. The firm provides liquidity solutions to private equity investors worldwide, acquiring interests in private equity funds, portfolios of private companies, and other private equity-related assets. With headquarters in London, and offices in New York and Hong Kong, Coller Capital’s multinational investment team has a truly global reach.

About Akin Gump’s Secondaries Practice

Akin Gump is a leader in the secondary transactions market, advising many of the world’s premier secondary funds, institutional investors and investment funds, including buyers, sellers and sponsors on the creation of liquidity solutions in alternative assets. The team’s experience spans all asset classes, including private equity, real estate, credit, venture capital, energy/renewables and hedge, with dedicated lawyers in all major financial centers.

A key part of the firm’s global investment management practice, liquidity solution transactions are an area the firm’s lawyers have been advising on for over twenty years, from the first European billion dollar secondary transaction onwards. Akin Gump has advised on some of the industry’s largest and most transformative transactions, which, together with its long-standing relationship with key intermediaries, enables the firm to execute transactions of all sizes and complexity anywhere in the world and give clients unique insights into the market.

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