Diversity & inclusion

‘A value-creation strategy’

Suzanne Yoon, founder & managing partner, Kinzie Capital Partners, speaks about diversity and inclusion in the private equity sector at the upcoming Alfi PE & RE conference. Photo credit: Kinzie Capital Partners

Suzanne Yoon, founder & managing partner, Kinzie Capital Partners, speaks about diversity and inclusion in the private equity sector at the upcoming Alfi PE & RE conference. Photo credit: Kinzie Capital Partners

The Association of the Luxembourg Fund Industry holds its Private Equity and Real Estate Conference 30 November-1 December 2021.

In advance of the event, Delano spoke with Suzanne Yoon, founder & managing partner, Kinzie Capital Partners, a private equity firm based in Chicago. She speaks during the diversity and inclusion session, Tuesday 30 November at 11:45am.

Aaron Grunwald: What do you want the audience to get most from the diversity and inclusion session?

Suzanne Yoon: That the focus on diversity and inclusion is not just a trend or for marketing or optics--it’s a value-creation strategy. Companies need to define diversity and inclusion specific to their corporate culture, with upper management setting the tone, to be truly effective.

From your point of view, how can a more diverse and inclusive workforce help private equity firms, in terms of their own bottom line and in terms of their contribution to the wider economy and society?

Diversity and inclusion sparks creativity and innovation, leading to better ideas and solutions. Widening the talent pool and making sure that different viewpoints are heard and valued ensures that the best talent is developed and rises to the highest levels of leadership--and data indicates that diversity within leadership roles creates better returns. For a business to adequately understand and service its customers, the people who are solving problems and making decisions need to be representative of their diverse customer base. Private equity firms really have an opportunity now to set a new standard for D&I in the industry and make a wider impact through portfolio companies.

What can PE firms do to be more diverse and inclusive in 2022?

Corporate responsibility works from the inside out and should be on every executive’s agenda. Focus on building teams with multiple areas of diversity. Define goals and enact thoughtful policies that work for the organisation. Communicate clearly with employees and create corporate programmes to ensure that the culture is continually monitored and lives up to its commitments. At Kinzie Capital Partners, we created a role dedicated to creating a culture of inclusion. Our head of culture & engagement focuses on maintaining a safe, equitable and engaging environment for all employees and interns.

Aside from your own talk at the Alfi event, which session are you most looking forward to hearing, and why?

I look forward to learning more about the host city’s position in “Luxembourg’s evolution as a financial centre in practice” [editor’s note: Tuesday 30 November at 10:10am], and from Hind El Gaidi and PV Wang in “C-suite perspective and trends in private equity” [editor’s note: Tuesday 30 November at 9:10am]. The market is global and, as supply chain disruptions around the world highlight how connected we are, it’s important to understand international landscapes and trends.

Suzanne Yoon is on Linkedin