Poland now has its own private equity association. The Polish Private Equity Association (PPEA) was launched in Warsaw with the aim of developing the country’s private equity and venture capital industry. PPEA also wants to encourage foreign private equity investments in Poland.
Dariusz Stola, executive director of PPEA, was previously a consultant advising Polish private equity firm Enterprise Investors on legislative issues. He says: “The aim of the association is to make private equity investments in Poland easier and to develop the industry.” He believes the association has four main tasks to work on: educating business managers about private equity through conferences, a website and general publicity; educating the country’s policy makers and legislature about the needs of the industry; improving communication among the association’s members; and promoting private equity in Poland to potential fund investors.
PPEA estimates that nearly $4 billion has been raised for private equity investments in Poland and Central Europe. However, Stola said government regulation needs to be changed to aid fund raising. Currently Polish pension funds cannot invest in private equity and Stola says that such strict legislation needs to become flexible.
The association has already signed up 22 members, or over half of the companies managing funds for Poland and Central Europe. Stola says PPEA’s members account for around 80 per cent of the capital devoted to private equity in Poland, but he hopes to increase the association’s membership.
Stola worked with a founding committee to set up the association. This committee now makes up the board of PPEA and is headed by president Robert Manz of Enterprise Investors.