The interview below is part of an ongoing effort by McGuireWoods to profile women leaders in private equity (PE). To read previous profiles, click here. To recommend a woman for a future interview, email Amber Walsh at [email protected].
Mina Pacheco Nazemi is a member of Barings Alternative Investments, a global real estate, PE and real assets platform. Pacheco Nazemi is part of the funds and co-investments team and serves on the investment committee. She is also responsible for originating, underwriting and monitoring primary fund, co-investment and secondary fund opportunities for PE and real assets. Pacheco Nazemi has worked in the industry since 1998 with experience as a general partner and limited partner investor in PE and focused on underwriting direct/co-investment opportunities. Prior to joining Barings in 2017, she held several leadership and investment positions, including co-founder and partner at Aldea Capital Partners and partner and investment committee member at GCM Grosvenor Customized Fund Investment Group (formerly Credit Suisse CFIG).
Q: Why do you actively support providing capital to women entrepreneurs?
Mina Pacheco Nazemi: I am a woman, but also a woman of color. Therefore, supporting other women and diverse talent has always been something that’s extremely important to me. I’ve been investing in smaller and emerging managers for over 15 years. There aren’t many others in a role like mine (with a background like mine), so I like to think I can provide opportunities for others who are often underrepresented in a male-dominated field.
Q: Why is it important for more women to pursue entrepreneurship?
MPN: Women should pursue entrepreneurship so they can have more control of their destiny. The typical power structures and leadership that we see across industries and companies today are unarguably male-dominated. Women who run their own firms have the ability to take their careers to the next level and avoid the glass ceiling that many face.
Q: What do you think is the biggest challenge facing women entrepreneurs? What advice would you provide to overcome it?
MPN: I think the biggest challenge facing women entrepreneurs is access to capital. It is a small circle of investors who back new ventures and being part of the network is critical. My biggest advice? Don’t get discouraged throughout the process. Keep working toward your goals and leverage your network and relationships to achieve them.
Q: Why is it important for more women to pursue careers in PE?
MPN: As PE continues to become a larger asset class, it’s important for more women to pursue careers in the space. According to research led by Harvard Business School, only 1.9 percent of PE firms are women-owned, and they manage approximately 1.5 percent of total industry assets.* However, our research shows approximately 41 percent of women-owned funds are top-quartile performers. Aside from statistics, I also find women to be innately good at sizing up talent, which is especially important for PE investors who need to be able to find strong companies with excellent management teams.
To contact Pacheco Nazemi, email [email protected].
*Source: Barings Research. Includes mature vintages (2004–2014) across North America Buyouts where performance information is available. Quartiles determined based on reported Internal Rate of Return (IRR). Women or diverse managers defined as having at least 33 percent woman or diverse partners. Total sample size includes 602 funds.