Private equity and venture capital has a mainstream function as a force which will continue to bring economic and social benefits, says Max Burger-Calderon, newly-elected chairman of the European Private Equity and Venture Capital Association and executive director at Apax Partners.
Burger-Calderon took over from former chairman Edoardo Bugnone at the EVCA Annual Symposium held in Athens in June. He takes on the chair at a challenging time for the private equity industry. The past few months has seen the EVCA reinforce its policy work, publish the findings of investigations into the economic and social impact of venture capital and supplement its annual data with quarterly industry data in collaboration with Thomson Venture Economics and PricewaterhouseCoopers. The association is also intensifying its training coverage with the launch of an Entrepreneurship Education Toolkit to educate tomorrow’s entrepreneurs on financing and growing a business using venture capital.
Burger-Calderon commented on the current climate: “These are testing times for the European private equity market. Quoted equity is uncertain, the economic environment is weak and consumer confidence is low.” He added that the recognition of venture capital as a force for both economic and social good as well as the ongoing issues of public policy, professional standards and education will be a prime concern. “I anticipate a lot of hard work this year for the private equity industry. The involvement of venture capital with entrepreneurs needs to be openly recognised as a critical driver of economic development.”
Burger-Calderon’s career started at Dresdner Bank in Singapore. He then studied at the Harvard Business School in Boston where he received an MBA before joining the family company, Burger & Sons in Germany. In 1986, he co-founded CFP Corporate Finance Partners, which in 1989 became a part of what is now Apax Partners. He co-founded the Apax Madrid office with Nicolas de Bonilla in 1989 and helped establish the Munich office in 1990.