In this issue of M&A Pulse in APAC, our team has taken the opportunity of International Women’s Day (‘IWD’) to celebrate the talented women across our M&A network.
As you know, I am personally convinced that gender diversity, and diversity more broadly, is key to our success and a clear performance enhancing factor. In my previous capacity as CEO of the CIB, I was proud to significantly increase female representation within the CIB ComEx.
There is no doubt, it diversifies our point of view and positively influences our working environment.
As per Marc Cooper, CEO of PJ Solomon, “The more diverse and inclusive our team, the better equipped we are to meet and exceed clients’, colleagues’, and communities’ expectations.”
The theme for IWD this year is #ChooseToChallenge. M&A has a longstanding reputation – like many disciplines in banking and finance – as being a very male-dominated field, and our M&A network does not deviate from this rule. So it is perhaps a given that the women at Natixis and across our network of boutiques have undoubtedly ‘chosen to challenge’ not only themselves, but industry norms and expectations.
Today, while we still have a way to go, we have seen increasing numbers of women join the ranks of our deal-making teams, and not only is there greater representation, but women make up a number of key leadership roles, paving the way for a younger generations to improve female representation and push for greater diversity, further than ever before.
As an example, PJ Solomon recruited 3 female MDs in 2020. Within Vermilion Partners, over half of the total staff are female, and this includes circa 40% of the front office team. Our M&A leaders like Miranda Zhao in Hong Kong and Angela Liang in Shanghai (Vermilion), are providing strategic advice across Greater China and the Asia Pacific region.
Recently, Fenchurch Advisory acted as lead financial advisor to IG Group on its Acquisition of Tastytrade, with the participation of Divya Dhar as Director. Within Natixis Partners, Anne Hiebler, Managing Director (M&A), and Virginie Gasnier Managing Director (Debt Advisory Team), have successfully advised the shareholders of Marcel & Fils on the reorganization of the Group’s ownership structure.
With successes such as these being delivered continuously, I strongly believe that we must continue to recruit women across all levels of our M&A network.
As a perfect illustration of that commitment, Marc Cooper has decided to implement a Diversity and Inclusion Council that will be launched during the 2nd quarter of 2021. The goal of this a multi-year plan is “to build a more diverse workforce and foster an inclusive work environment. This approach includes increasing the top of the recruiting funnel to extend our reach beyond our traditional candidate pools, as well as ensuring we have an inclusive environment that invests in and nurtures diverse talent”. One key initiative of this Council will be the launch of a Quarterly Women’s Network.
Looking back to the matter at hand, in this issue of M&A Pulse in APAC, through a series of interviews and discussions, women from around the network, from those who have just begun their careers to our seasoned professionals, have shared their perspectives, allowing us to understand more about their journeys in M&A, the challenges they might have faced along the way, and how they have made their careers work for them.
I do hope you will enjoy this special focus.
In gender diversity as well, the best is yet to come!