Last week BaltCap management announced the promotion of new Partners. Congratulations to Eneken Napa, one of the new Partners at BaltCap. We had a chat with Eneken to find out about her professional journey and ask how she sees the development of private equity industry in the coming years.
Eneken, you have worked in BaltCap for almost 10 years, how did you find your way to private equity and BaltCap? What do you enjoy most about working in private equity?
I am a true example of how temporary solutions tend to become permanent. After a 7-year career in a Big4 audit firm and a year away completing my MBA studies I was actually aiming for a CFO role in the food and beverages industry. By coincidence BaltCap was then looking for a temporary placement to fill the role of financial manager. Although it was intended as a one-year assignment, I saw this as an opportunity to get my “foot in the door” and take it from there.
I can truly say I’m excited to get to work each morning. Working with our diverse stakeholders and portfolio does not allow much routine and I’ve not felt boredom in my work yet as there are constantly some new challenges waiting.
I also enjoy that in BaltCap we have a culture where independent work and taking initiative is valued. And last but not least, I appreciate the people in BaltCap who are fun, smart and inspiring colleagues.
In BaltCap you have been responsible for building different support/back- office functions that have emerged due to a changing regulatory environment. How do you see the future in this realm?
Like it or not, governments are increasingly using policy and legislative tools that address financial markets. The regulatory requirements are indeed constantly growing and so do the requirements from the investors for more comprehensive and personalized reporting. I’m glad that we have a coherent and well-established team of support and middle office professionals in BaltCap and for the coming years the aim is to continue powering up on suitable software solutions and developing tools and competences to meet these requirements.
It is not a secret that private equity has traditionally been a playground for men. Do you think it is relevant to have more women on board, how would you encourage them?
In BaltCap as well as during Big4 times I have evidenced that in Latvia and Estonia we have a strong representation of female board members. I totally agree that there should be more women in the teams as well as in leadership roles, to complement the skillset, values and group dynamics. Also, numerous studies have indicated that diversity in private equity teams is the key to outperformance.
I personally have been encouraged by male colleagues not to underplay myself and that is the advice I would also give to other women (or, like our colleague said in an interview published in https://www.womeninpevcinbaltics.com: ”Just be bold!”). I tend to think that I have managed to advance my career thanks to love for the job that I do as well as personal traits of proactiveness and grit which is why I often naturally go beyond the tasks assumed of my current role. But a bit of luck also helps every now and then, so I guess I have happened to be in the right place at the right time.
How do you see the PE sector in the next five…ten years?
Building future scenarios is actually not my cup of tea, as there are too many unknown variables for an auditor-type like me 😊. Still, I believe the sector will continue its growth. Covid-pandemic proved the important role of PE as a value creator in economies, especially in turbulent times. For SMEs the strategic and financial backing of PEs as active owners was critical. And I trust the complexity of the external environment will only increase.
I also believe the sector will become increasingly “public”. If you compare what we knew about private equity companies ten years ago and what we know today, the change has been enormous. Initiatives related to responsible investment, ESG and climate change have altered the PE sector permanently.
What box sets have you been watching during lockdown?
I tend to fall asleep when watching TV, so it doesn’t happen very often. But I do admit getting addicted to Suits series on Netflix. In the past I’ve also enjoyed series on Catherine the Great and Queen Victoria. Learning about history has not been among my passions but these series got me interested in the subject!