TPG Starts Program to Back and Train More Diverse Fund Managers
(Bloomberg) -- Private equity firm TPG is stepping up its diversity efforts with a plan to back more fund managers who are women, people of color and LGBTQ+.
With a new program called TPG Next, the San Francisco-based firm will buy stakes in such managers and have the emerging firms’ executives work side-by-side with TPG leaders, co-Chief Executive Officer Jon Winkelried said in an interview.
“The real issue is you’ve had a lack of diverse people sitting in the capital allocation seat,” Winkelried said, noting that such deals help increase TPG’s deal flow. “There are a lot of opportunities out there, and things we just don’t see because we’re not diverse enough.”
TPG is building off a template established when it bought a stake in venture firm Harlem Capital Partners in 2019. It was created by Jarrid Tingle and Henri Pierre-Jacques, who are Black, and is now raising its second fund.
The new effort goes further, bringing new managers directly into TPG. In the first step in that direction, TPG will acquire a stake in LandSpire Group, a real estate investment firm co-founded by former pro basketball star Josh Childress.
TPG will bring in Childress, his co-founder Justin Davis, along with legal counsel Treana Allen, as “investors in residence” in TPG’s real estate business for a year.
“This will allow us to sharpen our skill set, as well as give us some capital,” Childress said in an interview. “To be able to drop into this firm, into the real estate group, is massive for us.”
TPG Next will also take a minority stake in Vamos Ventures, which was created in 2016 by entrepreneur Marcos Gonzalez to invest in companies led by diverse teams, particularly in the LatinX community.
“The LatinX demographic is large, young, high-growth and driven by entrepreneurial activity,” Gonzalez said in an interview.
TPG, started in the early 1990s by David Bonderman and Jim Coulter, helped define the modern private equity industry starting with its acquisition of bankrupt Continental Airlines. The firm now manages more than $91 billion in assets.
Coulter and Winkelried, who joined as co-CEO in 2015, have moved the firm into new areas. Coulter is leading a new impact fund called TPG Rise Climate, along with former U.S. Treasury Secretary and Goldman CEO Hank Paulson.
Read more: Former Treasury Secretary Paulson Joins TPG for New Climate Fund
TPG is moving to diversify the boards of companies it controls, starting with gender. It has added more than 100 women to boards since 2017 and is expanding that to include racial and ethnic diversity, as well as higher representation from the LGBTQ+ community, Winkelried said.
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