The Walker Working Group has published the final report and guidelines for disclosure and transparency within the private equity industry. The guidelines recommend that private equity firms be required to publish a description of their structure and investment approach. UK companies owned by such private equity firms (portfolio companies) must also publish their annual report and accounts on their websites and prepare mid-year updates. The British Venture Capital Association (BVCA) is also to play a strengthened role in promoting compliance and undertaking rigorous evidence-based analysis of the economic impact of private equity activity.
Industry reaction to the report has been mixed. The Confederation of British Industry hopes that the recommendations will help the industry win public trust and confidence whilst the NAPF and Association of Investment Companies are broadly supportive of them. However, the trade unions have expressed dissatisfaction, stating that the report fails to address the real concerns of workers faced with private equity takeovers, and pointing out that compliance with the recommendations remains voluntary. The Treasury Select Committee has also branded the report a failure and seeks to reopen its inquiry into the private equity industry.