The News: PE Pros Grow Nervous As Inflows, Fees and Pay Shrink

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Job openings in private equity, always scarce relative to the number of professionals clamoring to break into the sector, look to go on shrinking as investors continue to shy away.

PE firms raised just $13 billion last quarter, Bloomberg News reports, citing data from Preqin Ltd., a London-based research firm. That's the smallest amount in five years and is just 19 percent of the $68 billion they brought in during the peak quarter two years ago. The pullback reflects poor returns from funds raised in recent years, along with major investors such as endowments belatedly realizing their portfolios are overweighted in alternative investments.

The fundraising drought is forcing fund companies including Carlyle Group and Madison Dearborn Partners to extend deadlines and scale back the amounts they seek from investors. Says recruiter Abby Adlerman at Russell Reynolds Associates:

I'm getting calls from private-equity professionals who feel the music is stopping and there's one less chair. People are not making as much money as they're used to making.

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