Yep, that’s a photo of a police officer posting security outside the banquet room at this year’s Wharton PE conference in Philadelphia. The security move is clearly a result of last year’s infamous SEIU protests, where they burst into the room during an appearance by Carlyle Group’s David Rubenstein, who reportedly told them to “take a remedial course in English before you go any further.”
There doesn’t appear to be any need for security at this point since (A) Obama is in office, meaning the carried interest debate might be over, and (B) SEIU hasn’t protested private equity since July of last year.
When I asked the officer why she was here, she burst into laughter (and so did the event’s photographer standing next to her).
Me: Were you two just talking about that?
Her: Yep! They hired me for security.
Me: Is it because of the protesters that showed up last year?
Me: But you guys didn’t hear any rumblings of another one this year, did you?
Her: They weren’t going to take no chances!