Private Equity’s Crisis First-Timers See Their Playbook Shredded

Private equity bosses are finding history to be a lousy guide as they hunt for clues on how to work through the turmoil in global markets.

Industry executives were in a sober mood as they met at the SuperReturn International conference in Berlin this week to discuss a multitude of challenges, from rampant inflation and rising rates to Russia’s ongoing war in Ukraine and the looming threat of recessions.

“I don’t think there is a playbook we can turn to from the global financial crisis or the dotcom bust or anything else,” Matt Cwiertnia, co-head of private equity at Ares Management Corp., told attendees. “You need to be paranoid now and get in early with your companies to help them navigate through this.”