Invest Europe, formerly the European Private Equity and Venture Capital Association, has published its 2015 Professional Standards Handbook, a comprehensive and up-to-date set of standards and guidelines for the private equity industry.
The Handbook reflects the heightened standards of transparency and accountability being pursued by investors in Europe’s growing private equity industry, which represents €545 billion of assets under management. It also takes into account the new regulations in Europe, including the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD), which came into force since the last detailed update of the Handbook in 2013.
As part of the Handbook revision, Invest Europe has published substantially updated guidelines for reporting by private equity firms to their investors, which emphasise the importance of clear and detailed disclosure of fees. As well as increasing transparency, the guidelines encourage additional reporting to address areas of non-financial disclosure – including environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) – and enhanced clarity on reporting metrics. The guidelines also reflect advances in accounting standards since the last update.
The updated Handbook was created by Invest Europe members, which include private equity firms and their institutional investors, as well as industry advisors, working in collaboration for over a year. Beginning and ending with member consultations reviewed by Invest Europe’s Professional Standards Committee, its guidance demonstrates consensus across the industry about best practice in today’s market.