THE MAIL’S MANIFESTO
1 CURB THE DEBT: Before selling a business, private equity firms must provide assurances from an independent auditor that its debt levels and pension fund solvency are sustainable.
2 PUBLISH PERFORMANCE DATA: Private equity must be required to make disclosures on debt and performance, as well as any fee payments.
3 END TAX PERKS: Some of the rewards received by private equity partners are taxed as capital gains, not income, resulting in a lower tax rate. This must stop.
4 DISCLOSE BOSSES’ PAY: Firms should be obliged to reveal the annual rewards of their top partners.
5 CURB SHORT-TERMISM: Private equity should be banned from extracting cash through dividends or fees for the first two years. Paying dividends with borrowed cash should be forbidden.
6 CHECKS ON DISPOSALS: An independent auditor should have to certify that major asset sales will not damage the business and are in its best interest.
7 PUNISH POOR PRACTICE: An independent register of private equity practitioners should be set up with powers to punish and strike off individuals for malpractice.
8 PROTECT SENSITIVE SECTORS: Tougher scrutiny by ministers is needed when private equity is involved in sensitive areas such as defence.