Private Equity: Investing and Creating Value

The Wharton School

The Wharton School


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Who should attend

Private Equity: Investing and Creating Value is designed for institutional investors as well as investment professionals aspiring to be better private equity managers. A minimum of three years of investment industry experience is recommended. This program will enable participants to better understand opportunities and strategies, and develop their toolkit to be effective in investing in private equities.

The roles and job titles of participants might include:

  • Chief investment officers and asset managers responsible for a firm’s portfolio
  • Institutional investors with an interest in private equity funds
  • Entrepreneurs in the process of receiving and/or structuring capital funds
  • Investment consultants, accountants, family office representatives, and private bankers
  • Risk managers, actuaries, and quantitative analysts
  • Investor relations and investment professionals in private equity
  • Principals who invest in private equity and venture capital firms

About the course

Private equity is a critically important asset that investors cannot afford to exclude from their portfolios. With its potential for high returns that can outperform other asset classes, such as conventional stocks, bonds, and mutual funds, private equity offers a competitive edge to sophisticated investors.

Private Equity: Investing and Creating Value is an executive education program designed for institutional investors as well as investment professionals aspiring to be better private equity managers. This new private equity program, taught by renowned Wharton finance faculty, will deliver the latest information about the private equity sector, while teaching the latest concepts investors need to know to confidently evaluate investment opportunities in the private equity space and build optimal investment processes.

Program Experience

Highlights and Key Outcomes

In Private Equity: Investing and Creating Value, you will:

  • Learn the various stages of investment, from deal origination through harvesting returns
  • Study tools that private equity firms use to structure and finance a deal, create value, and determine exit timing
  • Understand the key drivers in the private equity market, and key differences between funds’ strategies
  • Analyze a deal from the different points of view of a private equity firm and of a bank
  • Work in teams to review actual deal scenarios and present deal recommendations to Wharton faculty and industry experts for immediate feedback and input
  • Gain experience in navigating the complex arena of global private equity and emerging markets
  • Discover how the PE sector has been impacted by the pandemic

Experience & Impact

Private equity is riding a wave of money that has come its way in the past decade, but it faces a growing list of challenges — some COVID-related and others that were developing before the pandemic. They include an overheated investment environment, difficulties conducting due diligence (especially in emerging markets), federal investigations into client fee disclosures, and (some might argue) a contraction in the business.

This innovative program provides an ideal combination of lectures by Wharton finance faculty and Wharton alumni who are finance leaders in the private equity industry. Participants will have an opportunity to focus on areas of individual interest, such as the limited partners' perspective, middle markets, distressed private equity, and private equity in emerging markets. There will also be time for case studies and group discussion.

For example, the effect of various government policy responses to COVID-19 and the increased need for operational improvement and turnaround management for keeping existing investments out of Chapter 11 will be addressed. The program will also explore the foundations of asset pricing and teach you how to forecast cash flows while accounting for country risk.

Participants will learn how to identify and manage special issues when investing or partnering with companies based in emerging or frontier markets. The effects of the current pandemic, including supply chain disruptions, lack of credit, and drastically lower consumer spending, will be examined so that participants become familiar with special considerations for due diligence and valuation.

Overall, participants will learn the landscape of the private equity space and be exposed to concepts and tools — shaped by the ongoing research of Wharton Private Equity Professor Bilge Yilmaz — that are used by private equity managers today. Case studies are current, relevant, and designed to maximize peer and faculty interaction.

During this program, you will have an opportunity to hear firsthand from Wharton alumni who are experts in the private equity space. As guest speakers, they will discuss their backgrounds and experiences, as well as their perspectives on the PE industry and the current economy.

Small-group work will provide an opportunity to apply new knowledge to a variety of private equity deals. Teamwork on case studies will expose participants to both the mechanics and art of the deal through a real-world lens. This approach will ensure that they understand the key drivers in the private equity market, differences between funds’ strategies, and how those strategies can play out for investors.

Session topics include:

  • Fund Structure
  • Leveraged Buyout Model and Comparables Analysis
  • Deal Origination, Transaction, and Execution
  • Value Creation With Operations and Negotiation
  • Advanced And Best Practices In Private Equity
  • Commercial Due Diligence
  • The Limited Partners’ Perspective
  • Growth Equity
  • Middle Market Private Equity
  • Private Equity In Emerging Economies

Wharton LIVE Programming

Real-time, synchronous peer learning

The live, virtual version of Private Equity; Investing and Creating Value is a nine-day program that will be delivered online and taught by the same Wharton faculty who teach in the on-campus program. The virtual sessions are structured to allow for extensive Q&A so that participants can discuss and debate the constantly changing PE landscape.

Participants will have direct access to Wharton faculty throughout the program, and engage in dynamic group exercises that help reinforce the learning and enable networking among the peer community. Case work will set the foundation for faculty-led discussions where participants will pressure test assumptions from the past and plan for the future. Additionally, there will be distinguished guest speakers who will share their perspectives and real-world experience. As always, the general partner, limited partner, and founders' perspectives will be considered, as well as both the U.S. and global outlook for private equity.

This virtual program is a fully immersive and structured learning experience that culminates with a new set of knowledge and tools that can be put to immediate use.


Bulent Gultekin

Research Interests: corporate finance and capital markets, financial development, privatization Education PhD, University of Pennsylvania, 1976; AM, University of Pennsylvania, 1975; MA, Bogazici University, 1974; BSc, Robert College, 1969 Recent Consulting Senior privatization adviser to sever...

Bilge Yilmaz

Education PhD, Princeton University, 2000; B.S., Bogaziçi University, 1991 Academic Positions Held Wharton: 2009present; 19982008. Previous appointment: Stanford University Archishman Chakraborty, Simon Gervais, Bilge Yilmaz (2011), Security Design in Initial Public Offerings , Review of Finance...

David Bard

David Bard is a Partner and joined Halifax in 2018. He is responsible for assisting in sourcing, evaluation, execution and monitoring investments. Before joining Halifax, David was a Principal at American Securities, a New York based private equity firm, where he invested across sectors and serv...

Stephen Sammut

Stephen M. Sammut, Ph.D. has a career that is both commercial and academic. Outside of Wharton, Steve is Venture Partner, Burrill & Company, a merchant bank and venture capital fund focused on the life sciences and health care. His role there is general management of overseas venture capital ...

Kevin Kaiser

Kevin Kaiser is Senior Director of the Harris Family Alternative Investments Program and Adjunct Full Professor of Finance at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He was Professor of Management Practice and on the finance faculty at INSEAD since 1992. Kevin holds a BA (Honours) i...

Ziad Sarkis

Ziad Sarkis is the director of Financial Research at the Wharton Alternative Investments Initiative. Prior to his current role, he worked for Zouk Capital, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Deloitte in the U.S. and EMEA regions. He advised private equity funds, family offices, and corporate groups on m...

Burcu Esmer

Research Interests: Research Interests: Empirical corporate finance, alternative investments About Burcu: Burcu Esmer is a research fellow at Wharton’s Joshua J. Harris Alternative Investments Program and a lecturer at the Wharton School. Previously, she was a faculty member at the Kelley Scho...

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Private Equity: Investing and Creating Value at The Wharton School

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