- 100% compliance against disclosure requirements in the sample of portfolio company annual reports reviewed (2018: 100%).
- 53% of the sample reviewed achieved at least a good rating, down from 73% in 2018, though one company produced excellent disclosures (2018: none).
The Private Equity Reporting Group (PERG), the body reviewing the private equity industry’s compliance with Sir David Walker’s Guidelines for disclosure and transparency, has published its 12th annual report and latest Good Practice Reporting Guide.
The PERG was established in March 2008 to monitor conformity with the Guidelines and make periodic recommendations to the British Private Equity & Venture Capital Association (BVCA).
Each year, a sample of approximately a third of portfolio companies that fall within the scope of the Guidelines are reviewed for compliance with the disclosure requirements. In 2019, all companies reviewed were compliant with the disclosure requirements (2018: 100%).
Alongside the annual report, the PERG and PwC have published the latest version of the Good Practice Reporting Guide for portfolio companies. The Guide highlights examples of good disclosures to support portfolio companies with their narrative reporting next year. The BVCA has published the EY annual report on the performance of portfolio companies.
Other Highlights Include:
- 53% of the sample reviewed in 2019 achieved at least a good rating overall, down from 73% in 2018. One company did prepare excellent disclosures (2018: none).
- 80% of portfolio companies have published an annual report in a timely manner on their website (2018: 81%). 68% of portfolio companies published a mid-year update on their websites in a timely manner (2018: 74%).
- All BVCA members have published certain disclosures on their own websites to communicate information about themselves, their portfolio companies and their investors.
- Four companies in scope of the Guidelines backed by non-BVCA members have not complied with the Guidelines in full. They are Advanced, London City Airport, Pure Gym and Punch Taverns. All BVCA members and their portfolio companies are compliant with the Guidelines or have provided appropriate explanations.
Nick Land, the Chairman of the Private Equity Reporting Group, said:
“The spotlight on the conduct of business remains high on the political and public agenda, especially in respect of sustainability issues and stakeholder engagement. The work of the PERG, Walker Guidelines and BVCA therefore remains essential to articulate the value of private equity investment into UK businesses. Whilst the overall rate of compliance with the Guidelines remains high, further efforts are required to improve the quality of disclosures given the fall in the sample reviewed this year.”
Gurpreet Manku, Deputy Director General, BVCA
Tom Allchorne, Director, Communications, BVCA
Note to Editors
- Reports published
The annual report of the Private Equity Reporting Group can be found here.
The PwC Good Practice Guide on improving transparency and disclosure can be found here.
The EY annual report on the performance of portfolio companies can be found here.
- The Walker Guidelines
The Guidelines have four main components – three that apply to portfolio companies and a fourth that applies to the private equity firms managing or advising funds that own the portfolio companies:
– Portfolio companies should prepare disclosures as stipulated in the Guidelines in their audited annual report and financial statements, and prepare a mid-year update.
– Portfolio companies are required to publish their annual report and a mid-year update in a timely and accessible manner on their company website.
– Private equity firms should publish certain disclosures on their own website.
– Portfolio companies are required to share certain data, which is presented in an aggregated performance report by EY to illustrate the contribution of private equity to the UK economy.
The Guidelines operate on a ‘comply or explain’ basis.
- The Private Equity Reporting Group
The Private Equity Reporting Group (PERG) is an independent body that was established in March 2008 to monitor conformity with the Guidelines and make periodic recommendations to the BVCA for changes to the Guidelines if required. The PERG is chaired by Nick Land, a non-executive director on a number of boards including the Financial Reporting Council and Thames Water Utilities. He is supported by two other independent members: Baroness Drake, former president of the TUC, and Glyn Parry, former Director of Group Financial Control at BT Group. Representing the private equity industry are Ralf Gruss, Chief Operating Officer at Apax Partners, and Tony Lissaman, Chief Operating Officer of 3i Group’s private equity business. More information about the PERG can be found here.
- Population within the scope of the Walker Guidelines
55 portfolio companies were required to comply with the Guidelines this year (2018: 55). The number of private equity firms managing or advising funds that owned portfolio companies within scope decreased from 52 to 47 this year. This includes 19 firms that conduct their operations in a ‘private equity-like’ manner, such as infrastructure, credit and pension funds.