There has been much talk lately about the state of the labor market in light of the coronavirus pandemic, but even before 2020 analysts had been forecasting dramatic shifts. According to a report released by the McKinsey Global Institute, in 2019 almost 40 percent of U.S. jobs were in occupations that were likely to shrink by 2030, and COVID-19 only served to further accelerate these trends.
Although private equity firms have been hesitant about investing in post-secondary education companies in the past, today there are those who see this changing economy as an opportunity to support companies that are training people in soft and technical skills. The Great Recession and the introduction of the Gainful Employment Rule by Obama in 2010 may have previously made private equity firms wary, but as the world shifts and higher education is reworked to better support employers' and students' needs, the outlook for the post-secondary sector continues to brighten.
One such firm is Hauser Private Equity, a hybrid private equity fund manager based in Cincinnati. Founded by Mark Hauser who currently serves as co-managing partner, Hauser Private Equity looks to directly co-invest alongside funds with investment models that are strategic in nature, adding operating leadership to the companies within their portfolios. Their partners tend to be funds between $200 million and $2 billion that are based in North America. They seek out teams that have a track record of investing together, and funds that are focused on operations, which allows them to create clearly defined target strategies and add value. They also consider a history of successful exits as a desirable quality in co-investors, and do not invest in trendy sectors such as venture capital, real estate or emerging technology.