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Women in Private Equity: The Class of 2022; Sherrese Clarke Soares, founder of HarbourView, sets the tempo

Buyouts salutes women in private equity.

Good morning, Hubsters. MK Flynn here with this morning’s Wire.

Today, all of us at PE Hub and Buyouts are pleased to present the 10 outstanding dealmakers we have named Women in Private Equity: The Class of 2022!

Sherrese Clarke Soares, founder of HarbourView Equity Partners, sets the tempo for women aspiring to the C-suite. Here’s an excerpt from Chris’ profile of her: From a young age, Sherrese Clarke Soares, who commands $1 billion for music and entertainment investments, was interested in the connection between the music she loved and the business behind the great artists. Her favorite album of all time is Stevie Wonder’s 1976 megahit Songs in the Key of Life.

“Part of that was growing up as a child lover of the arts, I studied piano, I ran a theater group in college. I’ve always been interested in the intersection of business and culture,” Clarke Soares said.

Clarke Soares, 45, wrote her Harvard Business School application essay about building an investment platform to invest in content. “I believed content could change the world,” she says.

That belief never wavered through her career, but as a junior person at large organizations, Clarke Soares had to bide her time, learn investing skills and find opportunities to put her vision to work despite the market cynicism. “For a long time, investors looked at the opportunity to invest in content very skeptically, with one eye open,” she said.

Her persistence over the years paid off. Last year, she partnered with Apollo Global Management on establishing a music and entertainment investing platform called HarbourView Equity Partners. The platform is structured as a fund of one, with Apollo contributing $1 billion.

You can watch a video conversation between Clarke Soares and Karl here.

Read the full story for more profiles of PE pros on our list, including Angela Zhang, director, GI Partners; Ruulke Bagijn, head of investment solutions, Carlyle Group; Clara Jackson, director, TA Associates; and Amy Christensen, partner, Vistria Group.

And in a companion piece, contributor Eamon Murphy explores the impact of covid on women in private equity.

“There is some concern that the pandemic has affected women negatively in an outsized way, because there’s less opportunity to socialize and get that one-on-one training and guidance,” said Kelly Williams, CEO of the Private Equity Women Investor Network (PEWIN), a global organization of more than 700 women in senior positions. “I think most of us believe that it’s actually a positive thing, the fact that you don’t have a chance to do the hang-out in the partner’s office, or go golfing, or do all the things that typically box women out. And more than ever you’re being judged on the quality of your work.”

“The reality is that women, particularly women who have families, have always worked like this,” Williams says. “[They] often leave and go home and have dinner with their kids and then work all hours.” Hybrid working “helps not just women but also men be better partners and better spouses, because you can do your job in a more flexible way. Face time is less important.”

Throughout the week, we’ll be featuring more of the profiles in the Wire.
And on behalf of our whole team – Chris, Karl, Kirk, Iris, Aaron and myself – congratulations to this year’s Women of Private Equity!

Chris writes the Wire on Wednesday, so I’ll be back on the keyboard Thursday.

Until then,

MK