Press Releases

IFC-EMPEA Global Conference Highlights Appeal of Private Equity in Emerging Markets

In Washington, D.C.:
Lotte Pang, IFC
Phone: +1 (202) 758-4290

Phone: +1 (202) 333-8171

Washington, D.C., May 13, 2009—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and the Emerging Markets Private Equity Association (EMPEA) are jointly hosting a two-day global conference that brings together more than 600 private equity fund managers and investors.

 The Global Private Equity Conference highlights investors’ interest in an asset class that promotes investment in businesses, supports strong growth, and spurs job creation. It also underscores the World Bank Group’s desire to establish major new means of financial intermediation for developing countries.

"We want to be a platform that helps connect new pools of capital to equity and other long-term investments in developing markets, to create productivity, growth, jobs, and hope," said World Bank Group President Robert B. Zoellick. "By expanding the concept of development, we can enlarge markets and opportunity."

Institutional investors continue to view emerging markets as attractive for private equity investment, according to a recent survey conducted by EMPEA and Coller Capital. The survey found that more than three-quarters of limited partners that have already invested in these markets plan to commit additional capital to new fund managers and geographies over the next two years.

“Investors recognize that emerging economies are the only ones still growing, and they also know that since private equity deals in emerging markets don’t rely on debt, the collapse of the global leveraged finance markets doesn’t impede deal flow,” said Sarah Alexander, President of EMPEA. “The more than 100 institutional investors attending this event are testament to the fact that interest remains strong.”

Lars Thunell, IFC Executive Vice President and CEO, said: “Supporting the growth of the private sector is an important way to create jobs and opportunities for people in developing countries to escape poverty. IFC sees great potential for private equity to contribute to the development of emerging markets while generating good returns for investors.”

About IFC

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, creates opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We foster sustainable economic growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development, mobilizing private capital, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. Our new investments totaled $16.2 billion in fiscal 2008, a 34 percent increase over the previous year. For more information, visit

About the Emerging Markets Private Equity Association
EMPEA is an independent, member-based global industry association that promotes greater understanding of and a more favorable climate for private equity and venture-capital investing in the emerging markets of Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe and Russia, Latin America, and the Middle East. Its members represent more than 50 countries and nearly $500 billion in assets under management. EMPEA was founded in 2004 with the belief that private equity can be a critical driver of economic growth in emerging markets while simultaneously generating strong returns for investors. Results of the EMPEA/Coller survey are available at: