Raymond James’ Sunaina Sinha Haldea on boosting diversity; ICG ups stake in Ocea

Ocea Smart Building (OSB) is a firm working in the French market for smart water and heat metering infrastructures.

Good morning Eurohubsters, Craig McGlashan here with the Dealflow.

Markets are a bit jittery this morning after Swiss banking giant UBS signed a deal to take over its troubled compatriot Credit Suisse for SFr3 billion ($3.2 billion; €3.0 billion) at the weekend.

Despite that volatility, we have a deal to report this morning involving Intermediate Capital Group, which we cover after the latest in our interviews with senior women in private equity. This time it’s Sunaina Sinha Haldea of Raymond James taking the questions.

Elsewhere, we have an update on Apollo’s bid to take John Wood Group private and new European offices for Blackstone and Great Hill Partners. We also briefly discuss Ethical Capital Partners’ takeover of Mindgeek.


This morning Sunaina Sinha Haldea, global head of the private capital advisory group at Raymond James, features in the latest in our series of interviews with senior women in private equity.

Sinha Haldea had some strong words about the opportunities for women in private equity, particularly when it comes to winning senior positions.

Sinha Haldea hears the same arguments from GPs on diversity, including that they can’t find any women. “Really? It’s 50 percent of the population last time I checked.”

“I hear all those remarks. Most of them are excuses. You have to be deliberate about how you seek out female talent.”

First, she said, identify potential women hires, introduce yourself and track them. Second, recruit from pools of talent where diversity is higher, such as female-only universities. Third, be more patient. “I’ll often say to the recruiters, this talent pool isn’t diverse enough. Take a few more weeks, find a few more resumes to bring diversity to the talent pool.”

Retention is also key. Senior level is “where the rubber meets the road, when women want to go off and have children, when they want to live their lives. That is the compromise that GPs have to make. They must have an off and on ramp for that talent or it won’t come back”.

Sinha Haldea also spoke about her time in the industry and how she put diversity at the heart of her own business.

Smart water.

ICG (Intermediate Capital Group), via its ICG Infra I fund, has acquired a further stake in Ocea Smart Building (OSB), a firm working in the French market for smart water and heat metering infrastructures, from Crédit Agricole Assurances. No financial details of the transaction were disclosed.

OSB is headquartered in Courbevoie, France.

ICG acquired its initial stake in OSB in 2019 and it will now hold 100 percent of OSB alongside the management team, according to a release.

“By further investing in OSB, we are demonstrating our confidence in the company and the management team as we support the energy transition for the French residential sector, where the need for energy savings is more present than ever,” said Guillaume d’Engremont, head of infrastructure at ICG.


The board of John Wood Group, a multinational engineering and consulting business headquartered in Aberdeen, Scotland, has extended the deadline by which Apollo Global Management must make a firm offer for the company.

Wood moved the date from 22 March to 19 April, partly to allow for the scheduled release of the firm’s FY22 results on 28 March.

Apollo made a fourth offer of 237p per share a couple of weeks ago, which the Apollo board said undervalued the company.

New offices.

A couple of private equity firms have grown their European footprints.

Blackstone is to open a new office in Frankfurt, which will serve as a hub for the firm in Germany.

The new location will occupy 1,300 square meters in the OMNITURM in Frankfurt, according to a release.

Blackstone’s Juergen Pinker, senior managing director, will lead on private equity.

Meanwhile, Great Hill Partners, a private equity firm focused on high-growth, disruptive companies, opened a London office that will serve as its regional hub for Europe.

Managing director Drew Loucks will lead the office and grow the London team.

PE or not PE.

There have been a lot of headlines around Ethical Capital Partners, a newly formed company in Ottawa, Canada, buying Luxembourg-based Mindgeek, the owner of several pornography websites, including Pornhub.

Ethical Capital Partners describes itself as a private equity firm, but for several reasons we don’t think it qualifies according to how we would classify one.

For that reason, we won’t brief the deal or write a deep dive, but we will keep an eye on it.

If you have any thoughts on this, send them over to me at craig.m@pei.group.

That’s all from me – speak to you again tomorrow.