9 Dec 2016

Helen Steers, Partner and Head of European Primary Investment at Pantheon, has been named as the Chair of the British Private Equity & Venture Capital Association (BVCA) for 2017/18.

Helen is the first Limited Partner to act as Chair of the BVCA in its history and brings with her 27 years of experience in the private equity industry. Helen will take up the role in April 2017, and succeeds Alan MacKay, Executive Partner and Founder of GHO Capital.

Commenting on her appointment, Helen said:

“As the BVCA’s first LP Chair, my priority is to make 2017 the ‘Year of the Investor’. I will focus on representing the voice and priorities of investors on the one hand; and on the other hand, in partnership with GPs, presenting a concise and compelling case for the contribution private equity can make to investment returns via its unique super-active management model.

Our investor base is changing: defined benefit pension plans across the world are declining in favour of defined contribution schemes, and here in the UK, that shift is already well underway. Also in the UK, the local authority market under the LGPS is pooling into collective investment models. These present great potential opportunities for our industry, but we must work hard to demonstrate how we can add value.

The dynamic political environment makes it more important than ever that we articulate and demonstrate our credibility as responsible and engaged investors and business owners, defining how private equity is a model that works for everyone and preserving our access to investment opportunities across Europe. Uncertainty is high as established political frameworks face unprecedented challenge, and it will be my personal challenge and pleasure to lead the BVCA during this defining moment in history.”

Welcoming Helen’s appointment, the BVCA’s Director General Tim Hames said:

“Helen’s appointment comes at an extremely important time for our industry and the wider business world. In a year when the UK will start the Brexit process and trigger Article 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon, I am particularly pleased that the BVCA has been able to recruit a person of such standing within the industry and a depth of international experience with GPs and LPs alike to serve as our Chair.

Helen joins us as our first LP Chair following a deliberate strategy of the BVCA to broaden our membership to include a wider range of stakeholders beyond private equity and venture capital fund managers and their advisers. Five years ago we had just a handful of LP members – today that figure stands at 100. Ours is an industry which time and again has delivered returns for its investors far exceeding rival asset classes and, given the crucial importance of the LP-GP relationship, it is vital the BVCA encompasses the entire private equity and venture capital community. There are few better people to take this forward than Helen, and I and the BVCA team look forward to working with her next year.”

Notes to editor
  1. Helen Steers leads Pantheon’s European primary investment activity and chairs the European Investment Committee. She is also a member of the International Investment Committee and the Co-investment Committee. Helen joined Pantheon in 2004 from Russell Investments in Paris where she was Managing Director with overall responsibility for private equity in Europe. Prior to joining Russell in 1999, Helen spent five years as Director, European Private Equity with the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec. From 1989 to 1994, Helen was a senior investment manager at the Business Development Bank of Canada in Montréal. Helen received a BA and an MA in Engineering from the University of Cambridge and an MBA from the University of Western Ontario in Canada. In addition to her responsibilities at Pantheon, Helen is involved with Invest Europe, where she sits on the Board, and is the Chair of the Limited Partners Platform Council. Helen is also a co-founder of Level 20, a non-profit making organisation that has been set up to encourage women to succeed in the private equity industry. Helen is bilingual in English and French. Helen is based in London.

  2. Headshot available on request.

  3. The British Private Equity & Venture Capital Association (BVCA) is the industry body for the UK private equity and venture capital industry. The BVCA has over 600 member firms, representing the vast majority of UK-based private equity and venture capital firms and advisers.

Further information


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