The History, Impact, and Future of Private Equity
Ownership, Governance, and Firm Performance
About This Event

From humble beginnings twenty-five years ago on Wall Street, the leveraged buyout boom has developed into a veritable industry; today, 30 percent of all corporate merger and acquisition activity in the United States is driven by buyout firms, and the sector commands over $2 trillion in leveraged assets. Along with hedge funds and real assets, private equity is now seen as an important alternative investment class, and fundamental changes in corporate control, governance, modern capital markets, institutional investing, and the funding of entrepreneurial pursuits have all been driven by the growth and evolution of the private equity sector.

At this event, leading financial economists as well as the sector’s top practitioners will offer a detailed evaluation of the private equity sector, noting important historical trends and episodes, and offering perspective on future dynamics. Key questions to be considered include: Why did the private equity sector develop as it did in the 1980s and how has it evolved? What are the major criticisms of the buyout sector, and how valid are they? What changes in governance and capital markets have resulted, and when does the private equity model make sense? How has private equity developed in Europe and Asia in comparison to the United States? To what extent should regulatory bodies become involved in private equity? What can we expect in the future in terms of the private equity sector?

For the transcript and audio recording of Tuesday night's keynote address, please go here.

For the transcript, audio, and video from Wednesday's session, please go here.

November 27
1:45 p.m.
Christopher DeMuth, AEI
Opening Remarks:
R. Glenn Hubbard, AEI and Columbia Business School
Special Remarks:
Private Equity, Venture Capital, and Modern Capital Markets
Josh Lerner, Harvard Business School
Panel I:
Private Equity’s History and Impact on Corporate Governance
Steven N. Kaplan, University of Chicago
Kenneth M. Lehn, University of Pittsburgh
John L. Chapman, AEI
Alex Brill, AEI
4:15 p.m.
Panel II:
Private Equity’s Impact: Productivity and Labor Market Effects
Steven J. Davis, AEI and University of Chicago
Douglas J. Cumming, York University
Kent Smetters, AEI and the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania
Kevin Hassett, AEI
Keynote Speaker:
Michael C. Jensen, Harvard Business School
November 28
7:45 a.m.
Opening Remarks:
R. Glenn Hubbard, AEI and Columbia Business School
Panel III:
Private Equity’s Impact: Corporate Control, Capital Markets, and Entrepreneurship
Karen H. Wruck, Ohio State University
Annette B. Poulsen, University of Georgia
Peter G. Klein, University of Missouri—Columbia
Alan Viard, AEI
Panel IV:
European and Global Developments in Private Equity
Mike Wright, Nottingham University Business School
David Ravenscraft, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Adam Lerrick, AEI and Carnegie Mellon University
Nick Schulz, AEI
Panel V:
Practitioner Panel: The View from the Trenches
Brian P. Simmons, Code Hennessy & Simmons
Tully M. Friedman, Friedman Fleischer & Lowe
Thomas Puetter, Allianz Capital Partners
Rick Rickertsen, Pine Creek Partners
John L. Chapman, AEI
12:00 p.m.
James Glassman, AEI
Keynote Speaker:
David M. Rubenstein, Carlyle Group
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AEI Participants


  • Alex Brill is a research fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), where he studies the impact of tax policy on the US economy as well as the fiscal, economic, and political consequences of tax, budget, health care, retirement security, and trade policies. He also works on health care reform, pharmaceutical spending and drug innovation, and unemployment insurance reform. Brill is the author of a pro-growth proposal to reduce the corporate tax rate to 25 percent, and “The Real Tax Burden: More than Dollars and Cents” (2011), coauthored with Alan D. Viard. He has testified numerous times before Congress on tax policy, labor markets and unemployment insurance, Social Security reform, fiscal stimulus, the manufacturing sector, and biologic drug competition.

    Before joining AEI, Brill served as the policy director and chief economist of the House Ways and Means Committee. Previously, he served on the staff of the White House Council of Economic Advisers. He has also served on the staff of the President's Fiscal Commission (Simpson-Bowles) and the Republican Platform Committee (2008).

    Brill has an M.A. in mathematical finance from Boston University and a B.A. in economics from Tufts University.

  • Phone: 202-862-5931
  • Assistant Info

    Name: Brittany Pineros
    Phone: 202-862-5926


John L.


Steven J.
  • Steven J. Davis studies unemployment, job displacement, business dynamics, the effect of taxes on work activity, and other topics in economics. He is deputy dean for the faculty and professor of international business and economics at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, and an economic adviser to the U.S. Congressional Budget Office.  He previously taught at Brown University and MIT.  As a visiting scholar at AEI, Mr. Davis studies how policy-related sources of uncertainty affect national economic performance.

  • Phone: 773-702-7312


R. Glenn
  • Glenn Hubbard, a former chairman of the President's Council of Economic Advisers, is currently the dean of Columbia Business School. He specializes in public and corporate finance and financial markets and institutions. He has written more than ninety articles and books, including two textbooks, on corporate finance, investment decisions, banking, energy economics, and public policy. He has served as a deputy assistant secretary at the U.S. Treasury Department and as a consultant to, among others, the Federal Reserve Board and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  • Assistant Info

    Name: Brittany Pineros


  • Adam Lerrick is the Friends of Allan H. Meltzer Professor of Economics at the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University. He served as a senior adviser to the chairman of the International Financial Institution Advisory Commission (known as the "Meltzer Commission"), where he analyzed the workings of the World Bank and reassessed its role in the global economy. Previously, he was an investment banker with Salomon Brothers and Credit Suisse First Boston, and he originated and led the negotiation team of the Argentine Bond Restructuring Agency in the $100 billion Argentine debt restructuring.
  • Phone: 434-286-2372



  • Nick Schulz was the DeWitt Wallace Fellow at AEI and editor-in-chief of, AEI's online magazine focusing on business, economics, and public affairs. He writes the “Economics 2.0” column for where he analyzes technology, innovation, entrepreneurship, and economic growth. He is the co-author with Arnold Kling of From Poverty to Prosperity: Intangible Assets, Hidden Liabilities, and the Lasting Triumph Over Scarcity. He has been published widely in newspapers and magazines around the country, including The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, and Slate.

  • Phone: 202-862-5911


  • Kent Smetters is the Boettner Chair Associate Professor at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School and a faculty research fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research. He previously served as deputy assistant secretary for economic policy at the U.S. Treasury. He coauthored Fiscal and Generational Imbalances: New Budget Measures for New Budget Priorities (AEI Press, 2003) and coedited The Pension Challenge: Risk Transfers and Retirement Income Security (Oxford University Press, 2004). He has published academic articles in leading journals, including the American Economic Review, the Journal of Political Economy, and The Quarterly Journal of Economics. He is often cited in major media outlets.
  • Phone: 215-898-9811


Alan D.
  • Alan D. Viard is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), where he studies federal tax and budget policy.

    Prior to joining AEI, Viard was a senior economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas and an assistant professor of economics at Ohio State University. He has also been a visiting scholar at the US Department of the Treasury's Office of Tax Analysis, a senior economist at the White House's Council of Economic Advisers, and a staff economist at the Joint Committee on Taxation of the US Congress. While at AEI, Viard has also taught public finance at Georgetown University’s Public Policy Institute. Earlier in his career, Viard spent time in Japan as a visiting scholar at Osaka University’s Institute of Social and Economic Research.

    A prolific writer, Viard is a frequent contributor to AEI’s “On the Margin” column in Tax Notes and was nominated for Tax Notes’s 2009 Tax Person of the Year. He has also testified before Congress, and his work has been featured in a wide range of publications, including Room for Debate in The New York Times,, Bloomberg, NPR’s Planet Money, and The Hill. Viard is the coauthor of “Progressive Consumption Taxation: The X Tax Revisited” (2012) and “The Real Tax Burden: Beyond Dollars and Cents” (2011), and the editor of “Tax Policy Lessons from the 2000s” (2009).

    Viard received his Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University and a B.A. in economics from Yale University. He also completed the first year of the J.D. program at the University of Chicago Law School, where he qualified for law review and was awarded the Joseph Henry Beale prize for legal research and writing.
  • Phone: 202-419-5202
  • Assistant Info

    Name: Regan Kuchan
    Phone: 202-862-5903
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