Women in Private Placements

Women in Private Placements (WiPP) comprises a global network of industry participants from institutional investors, bankers, lawyers and corporate issuers.

Maeve McLaughlin +1 212 225 5486
Clare Lewis +61 2 8236 8713
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As the WiPP network is in its early stages of development, the primary focus has initially been networking and connecting women in the industry. WiPP is looking to expand its initiatives and in September 2020 it began hosting a series of virtual wellness sessions.


The network was established in early 2020 by Maeve McLaughlin, managing director and head of global private placements at Scotiabank. While representation of women exists across all facets of the private-placement market, it became increasingly apparent that the industry needed a group where women can support, learn and grow from each other.

Women still only represent approximately 25 per cent of the private-placement market and WiPP believes there is a lot of room for improvement in attracting and retaining women in the industry. In addition, as the focus on gender diversity is becoming more prevalent at most companies, WiPP is a great resource to recruit female talent, especially given the niche nature of the market.


WiPP hosted its kick-off events at the annual Private Placements Industry Forum held in Miami in January 2020. The group got things rolling at the conference with an early-morning SoulCycle class sponsored by Scotiabank. Almost everyone who participated in the class was brand new to SoulCycle or had never done a spin class before. It was a great opportunity for the women to step out of their comfort zone and bond together.

As part of the formal conference, WiPP hosted a panel discussion and meet-and-greet. Maeve McLaughlin moderated the panel with Alice Van Der Geest (group treasurer, Melbourne Airport), Amy Olshansky (partner, Chapman and Cutler), Colleen Cooney (managing director, New York Life) and Laura Parrot (head of private placements, Nuveen).

The panellists discussed their past experiences as a woman in the industry and the benefits of establishing a private-placements women’s group. A cocktail reception for members to network and mingle with other women in the industry followed the panel discussion. More than 75 women attended, reinforcing the strong interest in WiPP from market participants.

In September 2020, in partnership with Intralinks and Sweat & Balances, WiPP hosted a virtual wellness series focusing on physical health, mental health and self-care.

  • To start off the series, Madeline O’Connell, vice president and head of debt private placements at Goldman Sachs and co-founder of Sweats & Balances, taught a 45-minute dance and sculpt fitness class.
  • The following week, Mary Spirito, founder of Ritual and Routine, led a 45-minute discussion providing tips and tricks on how to manage stress.
  • Wrapping up the series, the group learned techniques to do an at-home facial.

WiPP is excited about the establishment of this network. Market participants are encouraged to get in touch if they are interested in joining or getting more involved.

Clare Lewis, director, debt capital markets at Scotiabank leads the Australasian division of WiPP and can be contacted directly with any questions or help to plan a local event.

Panel discussion at the annual Private Placements Industry Forum, January 2020. Left to right: Amy Olshansky (Chapman and Cutler), Laura Parrot (Nuveen), Alice Van Der Geest (Melbourne Airport), Colleen Clooney (New York Life), Maeve McLaughlin (Scotiabank).