Women in Private Placements
Women in Private Placements (WiPP) comprises a global network of US private placement (USPP) industry participants from institutional investors, bankers, lawyers and corporate issuers.
WiPP is a global network of industry participants committed to uniting women in the USPP market. It strives to support women in the industry, building relationships, support systems and networking opportunities.
Maeve McLaughlin, managing director and head of global private placements at Scotiabank, established WiPP in early 2020. While representation of women exists across all facets of the market, it became increasingly apparent the industry needed a group where women could support, grow and learn from each other.
Women still only represent approximately 25 per cent of the USPP market and WiPP believes there is a lot of room for improvement in attracting and retaining women. In addition, as the focus on gender diversity becomes 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 Scotiabank-sponsored SoulCycle class. Almost everyone who participated in the class was new to SoulCycle or spin class. It was a great opportunity for the women to step out of their comfort zone and bond.
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 females 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 partnership with Intralinks and Sweat & Balances, and in acknowledgement of the additional pressure the COVID-19 pandemic has placed on its members, WiPP has hosted a virtual wellness series focusing on physical health, mental health and self-care. To start the series, Madeline O’Connell, vice president and head of debt private placements at Goldman Sachs and co-founder of Sweats & Balances, taught a dance and sculpt fitness class. The next series, focused on mental health, included a discussion led by Mary Spirito, founder of Ritual and Routine, providing tips and tricks on how to manage stress. Wrapping up the series on self-care, the WiPP group learned techniques to do an at-home facial.
WiPP is excited about the establishment of this network and hopes to organise some in-person events in 2022. Market participants are encouraged to get in touch if they are interested in joining or getting more involved.
Clare Lewis, director, global banking and markets at Scotiabank, leads the Australasian division of WiPP and can be contacted directly with any questions or help planning 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).