PE in a Recession: Prepare for Potentially Necessary Layoffs and an Exodus of Critical Talent (Part Three of Three)

The overhead expenses of a fund manager and its funds’ portfolio companies are always under a microscope, but that becomes amplified during an economic downturn. Naturally, in many instances, a company’s most substantial expense is its employees. Therefore, amid signs of a potential recession in the near future, it is necessary for fund managers to take steps to prepare for future layoffs, scrutinize other potential sources of cost savings and prevent natural attrition of essential employees (e.g., portfolio managers). This third article in a three-part series identifies different workforce management issues to consider and pursue to prepare for potential layoffs while also retaining critical employees. The first article summarized the industry’s views on a potential recession, along with the likely importance of the secondary market and ways managers’ fundraising efforts will need to be modified. The second article outlined techniques for fund managers to bolster their existing funds to endure a recession, including key terms to review, amendments to seek, liquidity avenues to pursue and investor dynamics to monitor. See “Best Practices for Fund Managers to Mitigate Litigation and Regulatory Risk Before Terminating Employees” (Feb. 9, 2017).

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