The Private Equity Reporting Group and PwC have published the latest version of the Good Practice Reporting Guide for Portfolio Companies. Applicable to portfolio companies complying with the Walker Guidelines, the Guide has been updated to reflect the increasing standards seen in corporate reporting by the FTSE 350, the benchmark against which compliance with the Guidelines is judged. The Guide highlights examples of good practice aimed at helping portfolio companies with their narrative reporting. It also includes detail on how to comply with the 2014 changes to the Guidelines, including human rights and gender diversity disclosures – two areas where further improvement is needed based on last year’s review (see below).
The Private Equity Reporting Group (PERG), the body established to review the private equity industry’s conformity with the Walker Guidelines has published its annual report on disclosure and transparency in private equity. Compliance by portfolio companies covered by the Guidelines has reduced slightly again this year to 88% (2015: 95%). However, only 57% of the portfolio companies reviewed have achieved an overall good or excellent level of quality of disclosure, whereas 95% achieved this level in 2015. This decrease in standards was primarily due to a backdrop of higher standards seen in the FTSE 350, the benchmark for judging compliance. In the current environment, with an increased emphasis on the transparency and conduct of the largest privately-held businesses in the UK, the private equity industry must increase its efforts to improve the quality of reporting in 2017.