From the very first event in 2004, our CFO Forum has always shown the capacity for generating headlines from its keynote speakers.
Back then, co-founder of Carlyle Group David Rubenstein told the audience: “You’ll find an infinite number of books about how to run other kinds of companies. But you won’t find a single book about how to run a private equity firm.” (Rubenstein did eventually write a book called How to Lead, which was published in 2020).
Also at the inaugural event was Steven Gilbert, chairman of Gilbert Global Equity Partners, who explained why US private equity firms were paying attention to the then-new Sarbanes-Oxley legislation. “The word ‘prison’ tends to focus on general partners. Most of them are not interested in enjoying a custodial experience,” he said.
Fast forward two decades and our event is more essential to CFOs and COOs than ever. This year, we have added some extraordinary new features, beginning with this special issue of Private Funds CFO, devoted entirely to the colorful history of our flagship event. The issue includes:
New Faces of Finance: Our inaugural list of the next generation of leaders demonstrates how the private markets industry is embracing a younger, more diverse talent pool.
The CFOs That Helped Shape Private Equity: Our pick of innovators that have crafted the role into such strategic importance – many have been regular contributors to our conferences over the years.
Finally, be sure to stop by the exhibit hall and see our giant 20-year timeline providing a visual history of defining moments at our event over the last decades.
Your presence here is an indication that you are committed to learning and growing with our community. We look forward to hearing your input as we continue to build the most exciting and influential community in private equity. Many more landmarks lie ahead for our industry. Enjoy the conference… and here’s to the next two decades!
Director Membership & Events, PEI Group
Editor, Private Funds CFO