Private equity owned firms should not be singled out by increased disclosure proposals in the Walker Review, says the Association of Investment Companies (AIC).
The trade body says it supports increased disclosure by large privately owned companies but says the ownership structure of a company should not be a factor.
Daniel Godfrey, director general of the AIC, says there is a legitimate case for privately owned companies to increase their disclosure, provided they have a significant public footprint.
“Where there is a legitimate stakeholder interest – perhaps due to the number of employees, importance to the national or local economy or high street presence – then greater transparency and engagement becomes increasingly appropriate.
"The method of ownership is a secondary factor, if indeed it is relevant at all,” he says.
The AIC says private equity funds can achieve higher levels of disclosure as has been the case among listed investment companies with private equity interests.
Godfrey comments: “Listed investment companies with private equity holdings already offer high levels of transparency through regular public reporting which is a clear benefit to shareholders and other stakeholders interested in the activity of the fund.
"Results would tend to indicate that it has had no adverse impact on their investment process.”
The Walker Review has focused on the disclosure given by private equity funds after trade unions and politicians raised concerns over the business practices of some private equity owned companies.
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