Private Equity Pros Are Confident in Themselves. The U.S. Government? Not So Much
By Erin Griffith
Earlier this year, more than than 500 Term Sheet readers took a survey from Semaphore, a business consulting firm, about confidence in 2017. (Around 30% of survey-takers were from the private equity, 26% from venture capital, with the rest coming from bankers, LPs, operating execs and third party vendors). The results are in and here is the short version: PE and VC pros are confident in themselves, their businesses, their bosses, and their money, and they have little confidence in most aspects of our government. Here’s the breakdown of how much confidence the respondents had on….
…Their own business: Very. 83% of readers are confident.
…Their industry: Mostly. 64% are confient.
…Their competitors: Mostly. 59% are confident.
…The U.S. economy: Mostly. 64% are confident.
…The international economy: Not so much. Just 21% are confident.
…Themselves: Healthy self-esteems here. 93% report self-confidence.
…Their earning power: Very. 76% expect to earn more than they did last year. (Meanwhile 80% got a raise in 2016.)
…Their boss: Mostly. 64% are confident.
…Their CEO or Managing Partner: Mostly. 69% are confident (The grass is always greener, though. 76% report confidence in their competitors’ CEOs and Managing Partners.)
…The former president: Very. 78% expressed confidence in President Obama and 59% expressed confidence in his economic team.
….The new president: Not so much. Just 25% are highly or somewhat confident in President Trump and only 15% are confident or somewhat confident in his economic team.
…Congress: Not so much. 21% are confident in Congress.
…Speaker Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell: Not so much. 25% are confident in Ryan; 33% for McConnell.
…Taxes: Only 20% are confident in the U.S. tax and spending policy and only 16% of international respondents expressed confidence in their countries’ tax and spending policies.
Sectors: In 2016, the top three industries for investment were (in order) healthcare, enterprise software, and healthcare/financial services. Next year you expect enterprise software and healthcare/financial services to jump ahead of general healthcare deals. (Consumer, digital media and entertainment lagged those industries for both time frames.)
Lastly, a few predictions: The majority of respondents (57%) expect personal income tax rates to drop this year, and even more (70%) expect lower corporate income taxes. And not many of you are preparing to say goodbye to carried interest. Only 22% expect favorable carried interest tax treatment to be eliminated this year. Carry on.