Press release

16 Jan 2019 New York, US

EY survey: the opportunity is ripe for private equity to prosper, but margin concerns remain

NEW YORK, 16 JANUARY 2019. Private equity chief financial officers (CFOs) reported another year of unprecedented growth of their firms but are still struggling to overcome operational issues that are dramatically eroding their margins, according to the EY 2019 Global Private Equity Survey, How do you see the opportunity in your obstacles?

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  • Competition attracts 1,500 applicants as part of an initiative to unlock more opportunities for women in corporate finance
  • Finalists undertook real-life M&A challenge to help determine global winner
  • Global competition has helped drive increased female applications into Transaction Advisory Services

EY has announced Tiril Støle from Norway as the global winner of the second EY Corporate Finance Woman of the Year. The competition is part of a worldwide initiative to inspire the next generation of exceptional female talent to pursue a career in corporate finance.

The competition’s fundamental objective is to foster a better understanding of the types of corporate finance roles available in the market, and to prepare talented women for the future of work. In line with the EY purpose of building a better working world, this initiative from EY’s Transaction Advisory Services (TAS) business affords participants across the globe not only technical corporate finance insights, but also broader skills such as business acumen and inclusive leadership, communication and influence, problem solving and entrepreneurship.

This year’s global winner, Tiril, will further participate in a 30-day immersive multilocation internship and will work with EY mentors and TAS teams around the world to hone her client, business, teaming and personal leadership skills.

Steve Krouskos, EY Global Vice Chair – Transaction Advisory Services, says:

“Tiril is an exceptional talent and well-deserving of this year’s title. She has shown all the attributes required for a successful career in corporate finance and mergers and acquisitions. Tiril has strong leadership skills, operates effectively in a high-performing team and is able to collaborate and communicate with clarity and in a compelling way.

“Each and every one of the finalists has been hugely impressive and there is no doubt that they will all have excellent careers ahead of them. They have excelled in a competition designed to dispel any perception that corporate finance and M&A is a male-dominated world.”

Tiril Støle, EY Corporate Finance Woman of the Year – 2019, says:

“Being part of this competition provided me experiences and allowed me to further develop my skills and will help me better understand the world of dealmaking and the opportunities it can afford me. Working on a real-life client case showed me the impact I could have in corporate finance, and the solutions I could bring to my future teams. Putting my theoretical knowledge and technical skills into practice, and applying negotiating and intercultural communication skills to help the client solve complex problems, were notable highlights. Initiatives like this represent a positive step toward industry change and inclusion.”

Building the future talent pipeline today

The competition attracted more than 1,500 applications from university students worldwide from various academic disciplines, culminating in a shortlist of 170 national finalists. Sixteen national and regional winners from 15 countries came to London to compete in the global final. A core component of the contest’s design was to train participants to connect market trends and knowledge to develop strategies to respond to complex challenges, harness emerging technologies, innovate to find new solutions and deliver exceptional client service.

Graeme Browning, EY Global Talent Leader – Transaction Advisory Services, says:

“EY Corporate Finance Woman of the Year aims to build the female talent pipeline for the industry as well as promote opportunities within EY TAS. The competition provides an insight into the required skills, valuable hands-on experiences and hopefully a lifelong network of friends and mentors.”

A collaboration with LDC, the private equity arm of the Lloyds Banking Group in the UK, helped to provide the finalists with real-life, practical, hands-on experience. A panel of judges comprising corporate finance professionals, EY global leaders and media selected the winner based on her performance during team challenges relating to the deal, and individual assessments undertaken during the three-day competition.

Competition leads to increased female hires

EY TAS has seen growth in female applicants since the inaugural competition last year and a unique and focused program to improve gender diversity that was introduced two years ago. The number of female applicants grew 5% to 42% worldwide in the last year. Entry-level hiring of women in TAS has also increased: 51% of all campus hires were women in Asia-Pacific (6% increase), 45% in the Americas (12% increase) and 38% in Europe, the Middle East, India and Africa (8% increase).

Julie Hood, EY Global Deputy Vice Chair – Transaction Advisory Services, says:

“We need to continue to demystify the world of corporate finance so that we are attracting high-quality candidates from as broad a field as possible. Any stereotypes of who can and should be able to succeed in this industry are misconceptions and barriers to accessing high-performing talent – this competition is one way in which we can remove those kinds of obstacles. Ultimately having diverse talent supports our clients’ most critical capital agenda needs.”

Follow us on Twitter: @EY_TAS #EYCorporateFinanceWomanOfTheYear

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Notes to Editors

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How you manage your capital agenda today will define your competitive position tomorrow. We work with clients to create social and economic value by helping them make better, more-informed decisions about strategically managing capital and transactions in fast-changing markets. Whether you’re preserving, optimizing, raising or investing capital, EY’s Transaction Advisory Services combine a set of skills, insight and experience to deliver focused advice. We can help you drive competitive advantage and increased returns through improved decisions across all aspects of your capital agenda.

Participating countries in 2019

Belgium, France, Germany, India, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Oceania (Australia and New Zealand), Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America