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Behind the Buyouts: VMG Partners Embraces Diversity

Published: July 29th, 2020
On the latest episode of the Behind the Buyouts podcast, Cassie Nielsen and Wayne Wu of VMG Partners say PE firms need to be diverse to reach growing demographics in the U.S.

Welcome to Behind the Buyouts, The Deal’s podcast in which we sit down with leading private markets investors and drill down into their buyout, growth equity and venture capital deals.

For this edition, Cassie Nielsen, talent partner, and Wayne Wu, general partner, both of VMG Partners, talk about the firm’s proactive approach to diversity, as well as female representation on boards and how both efforts remain critical to performance of the firm and its portfolio companies.

The leadership team at consumer-oriented VMG Partners has been focused on talent and diversity for a long time, as shown by the San Francisco firm’s decision to bring Cassie Nielsen on board 4-1/2 years ago.

VMG Partners recently promoted Nielsen to talent partner from vice president of talent as she works with management teams at portfolio companies to build the best possible work force.

“We truly believe there’s a high correlation between the strength of the team and the eventual outcome of the investment,” Nielsen said.

Nielsen also co-founded a new nonprofit, Women on Boards, dedicated to increasing the number of board seats held by women. Participants in the effort include Alliance Consumer Growth LLC, CircleUp Growth Partners, Encore Consumer Capital, L Catterton, Swander Pace Capital LLC and TSG Consumer Partners LLC.

Nielsen said diversity continues to remain a topic of interest not only at larger companies but also in the middle market.

“Building their team is something they want to make sure they get incredibly right, but they haven’t always had the resources to do so,” Nielsen said. PE firms such as VMG Partners are positioned to offer expertise on this front to help portfolio companies thrive and improve diversity, she said.

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