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Eurazeo Leads Private Equity When It Comes to Equity and ESG

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Eurazeo Leads Private Equity When It Comes to Equity and ESG

Eurazeo continues to lead the way with metrics-based equity and ESG commitments

Illustration by Rebecca Kang
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With over $30 billion in assets, 530 portfolio companies, and 360 private equity, private debt, and real asset experts across the globe, Eurazeo has made a name for itself as one of the premier European private equity companies. But its footprint is expanding. With plans of buildout into North America and Asia, Eurazeo is hoping to continue seeking out technology, healthcare, financial, and other sectors that are poised for growth.

Eurazeo’s expansion has been noticed for all the right reasons. In September 2022, the company was named the “International General Partner of the Year” by the Private Equity Women Investor Network, an annual award given to a partner “committed to transforming the private equity industry by supporting increased gender diversity and female leadership.”

“Increasing gender diversity both within Eurazeo and the broader private equity industry is one of our top priorities with our O+ Initiative, along with sustainability,” Virginie Morgon, CEO of Eurazeo, said in a statement. “I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished to date, but there is more to do. At Eurazeo, we don’t cut corners and we are committed to responsible growth, investing with purpose, and contributing meaningfully along the journey to equality and equity.”

Eurazeo’s commitment to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) dates back to 2008 when the company decided to take a metric-driven approach to increase its representation, environmental efforts, and other governance initiatives.

Morgon was recently highlighted by Financial News, not only for being named Eurazeo’s first female CEO, but her commitment to ESG on the whole. As broader calls for regulation and claims of greenwashing have become more prevalent in the private equity space, the CEO is determined to demonstrate her company’s commitment with action and metrics. “You don’t have ten people doing this in your organization, across the board, and then elevate your ESG director to partner level because you want to look fashionable,” Morgon told Financial News. “You show your team, your partners inside the firm, that this is serious.”

Eurazeo has linked 15 percent of its partners and managing directors’ bonuses with ESG targets. The company has also pledged to become carbon neutral by 2040. Morgon admitted that it was more difficult to build a case for ESG just a few years back. Building a strong business case was key. Productivity, efficiency, and savings were all upsides of embracing broader ESG goals.

Another key female executive at Eurazeo, General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer of North America Shari Miller greatly attributes her relationships for her success, a quality that she is especially proud of. Miller brings extensive in-house and private practice experience to her role Eurazeo, which shapes how she practices today as she focuses on Eurazeo’s US presence and leading the organizations’ compliance program.

While Eurazeo remains on the frontlines of all things ESG and DEI, the company has certainly encountered challenges. The pandemic and worldwide shutdown created an environment where unforeseen and unthinkable challenges were suddenly all too real. The war in Ukraine has only made the landscape more precarious. “The challenge is not knowing what we have ahead of us,” Morgon told Financial News. “Significant disruption, decoupling between geographies, probably the US and Europe with the recent acceleration related to the war in Ukraine in Europe.”

But that hasn’t kept business from moving forward as Eurazeo secured $550 million in fundraising in March 2022. Economic uncertainty is omnipresent, but Eurazeo continues to make wise investments both in its portfolio and its people, ensuring an ability to weather the storm, come what may.

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP:

“Shari is smart, hardworking and has a deep understanding of private equity and deal making. She brings a practical business sense and an upbeat and positive attitude that makes her a delight to work with.”

—Steve Shoemate, Partner

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