Leading the charge to make DEI a core objective

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Sasha Jensen, Jensen Partners

Jensen Partners: Best Recruitment Company for Investor Relations & Asset Raising – Diversity is increasing across the private equity industry as firms are launching new strategies and building new teams, meaning they are recruiting and hiring talent in large numbers. This is happening as general partners (GPs) and limited partners (LPs) call for greater transparency and accountability on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI).

“Across the board, PE firms are working to establish and/or improve their commitment to DEI values,” outlines Sasha Jensen, CEO and founder, Jensen Partners. “We’ve seen demand for diverse candidates grow across PE to the point where many firms are creating diverse candidate pipelines and dedicating significant HR resources to finding talent that better represents the communities and clients they serve.”

In response, Jensen Partners has taken two very aggressive steps. The first is that DEI is now a part of every talent search the firm conducts. Jensen elaborates: “Over the past few years, our clients have increasingly requested that we recommend more candidates of diverse backgrounds. Hearing those calls, we upped the ante. 

“Now, Jensen Partners will not conduct a search unless our client agrees to including at least 51 percent diverse candidates in the first round of the search. For us, that is a bare minimum a firm can do given the pervasive ethnic and gender under-representation across the industry.”  

The firm has also developed a propriety diversity talent pipeline that includes over 8,000 alternatives professionals who have self-identified as belonging to one or more under-represented groups. “To do this, we built an enterprise software platform, called Diversity Metrics, which tracks the employees of every private equity platform alongside rich diversity analytics, allowing us to identify rising stars and rainmakers across the industry,” Jensen explains. 

To date, LPs and GPs have relied on pledges and self-reporting. The tech-enabled, data-driven platform brings verified DEI data to the table and is poised to bring meaningful transparency on DEI values to the PE industry. 

One of the firm’s main goals for 2021 is to educate clients on why DEI should be viewed as a core business objective. The Diversity Metrics platform provides the tools PE firms need to measure and improve workforce diversity and inclusion. “While we have seen many clients sincerely working to improve DEI, we are only just beginning to see firms elevate DEI objectives to the level of core business objective. This is problematic because the most common empirical finding we see as we review data from Diversity Metrics is that DEI programmes that are not given a mandate at the executive level tend to be less effective over the long term,” she remarks.  

Jensen expects the demand for talent in PE to continue increasing in 2021 and demand for diverse talent, which is already exploding, will rise dramatically. “Jensen Partners is well positioned to meet that demand because we have been ahead of the curve on identifying well qualified diverse candidates. As private equity firms build out new teams and product lines, our data-driven approach and a long-term perspective uniquely positions us for success in securing the right human capital.” 

Sasha Jensen, CEO & Founder, Jensen Partners
Sasha Jensen, Founder and CEO, launched Jensen Partners in 2012 with the focus on solely identifying the pre-eminent human capital talent for raising capital within the alternative investment industry. In fact, Sasha was described as “the most successful executive recruiter for asset gatherers” by Institutional Investor magazine. In 2020, Jensen Partners expanded its team to Europe with the addition of two senior professionals. In February 2020, Peter Mayer, previously a partner from PJT Partners, was appointed Head of Europe. The following month George Lewis was named Managing Director, Infrastructure practice in London. Over the last five years, Sasha’s firm has received several rounds of institutional funding, experienced transformational growth and expanded to 14 professionals located in New York and London. Further, Jensen Partners’ executive recruiting model applies a ‘big data’ approach to mapping out the entire fund distribution teams at the largest alternative investment platforms, totalling more than 600 firms.

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