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Private Equity: Investing and Creating Value

Program Overview

Private equity is a critically important asset that investors cannot afford to exclude from their portfolios. With its potential for high returns that can outperform other asset classes, such as conventional stocks, bonds, and mutual funds, private equity offers a competitive edge to sophisticated investors.

Private Equity: Investing and Creating Value is an executive education program designed for institutional investors as well as investment professionals aspiring to be better private equity managers. This new private equity program, taught by renowned Wharton finance faculty, will deliver the latest information about the private equity sector, while teaching the latest concepts investors need to know to confidently evaluate investment opportunities in the private equity space and build optimal investment processes.

Read more about the Experience & Impact »

Private Equity Program Highlights & Benefits

  • Learn the various stages of investment, from deal origination through harvesting returns
  • Study tools that private equity firms use to structure and finance a deal, create value, and determine exit timing
  • Understand the key drivers in the private equity market, and key differences between funds’ strategies
  • Analyze a deal from the different points of view of a private equity firm and of a bank
  • Work in teams to review actual deal scenarios and present deal recommendations to Wharton faculty and industry experts for immediate feedback and input
  • Gain experience in navigating the complex arena of global private equity and emerging markets

Contact Us

Schedule a personalized consultation to discuss your professional goals:


Private Equity for Investing program participant

February 25 - March 1, 2018$9,750

San Francisco, CA

March 26 - 30, 2018$10,750

Philadelphia, PA

October 29 - November 2, 2018$10,750

Philadelphia, PA

The listed Wharton faculty and program content are the same for the Philadelphia and San Francisco sessions.

Download the program schedule, including session details.

Tuition for San Francisco does not include accommodations. A special room rate is available at Le Méridien. Please contact Wharton Client Relations for details. Prices are subject to change.

private equity bilge

Featured Video

“Many people don’t realize that private equity investors have to create value. This program will give you a framework for tackling this issue and identifying inefficiencies within your firm that can be improved to create value.”

Professor Bilge Yilmaz on Private Equity: Investing and Creating Value

Still considering your options? View programs within Finance & Wealth Management or use our Program Finder.

Experience & Impact

This innovative program provides an ideal combination of lectures by Wharton finance faculty and Wharton alumni who are finance leaders in the private equity industry. During the program, participants will have an opportunity to focus on areas of individual interest, such as the limited partner perspective and private equity in emerging markets. There will also be case study and group presentation time.

Participants will learn the landscape of the private equity space and be exposed to concepts and tools—shaped by the ongoing research of Wharton Private Equity Professor Bilge Yilmaz—that are used by private equity managers today. Case studies that will be discussed are current, relevant, and designed to maximize peer and faculty interaction.

Session topics include:

  • Fund structure
  • Leveraged buyout model and comparables analysis
  • Deal origination, transaction, and execution
  • Value creation with operations and negotiation
  • Advanced and best practices in private equity
  • Commercial due diligence
  • The Limited Partners’ perspective
  • Growth equity
  • Middle market private equity
  • Private equity in emerging economies

Wharton faculty and alumni will share their experiences and discuss their views on the private equity landscape with the class. Participants will have the opportunity to engage with the speakers through focused Q&A sessions, as well as during breakout sessions.

Participants will work in small groups to apply their new knowledge to a private equity deal. Teamwork on actual case studies will expose participants to both the mechanics and art of the deal through a real-world lens. This approach will ensure participants understand the key drivers in the private equity market, differences between funds’ strategies, and how those strategies can play out for investors.

Listen to audio clip

Listen to the Audio Clip:

Private Equity Professor Bilge Yilmaz and Mitchell Hollin, WG’89, appeared on Wharton Business Radio, SiriusXM. Listen to this extract of an interview where they talked about Private Equity: Investing and Creating Value.

Participant Profile

Participants by Industry

Private Equity: Investing and Creating Value

Participants by Job Function

Private Equity participants by job function

Participants by Region

Private Equity participants by region 

Who Should Attend

Private Equity: Investing and Creating Value is designed for institutional investors as well as investment professionals aspiring to be better private equity managers. A minimum of three years of investment industry experience is recommended. This program will enable participants to better understand opportunities and strategies, and develop their toolkit to be effective in investing in private equities.

The roles and job titles of participants might include:

  • Chief investment officers and asset managers responsible for a firm’s portfolio
  • Institutional investors with an interest in private equity funds
  • Entrepreneurs in the process of receiving and/or structuring capital funds
  • Investment consultants, accountants, family office representatives, and private bankers
  • Risk managers, actuaries, and quantitative analysts
  • Investor relations and investment professionals in private equity
  • Principals who invest in private equity and venture capital firms



Tuition for Philadelphia programs includes lodging and meals. Tuition for the San Francisco program does not include accommodations but does include meals. A special room rate of $309+tax per night is available at Le Méridien, but your hotel reservation must be made before February 5, 2018. Please contact Le Méridien in San Francisco at 866.837.4184 to make a hotel reservation and mention “Wharton Program: Private Equity Investing and Creating Value” to receive the special rate.

Group Enrollment

To further leverage the value and impact of this program, we encourage companies to send cross-functional teams of executives to Wharton. We offer group enrollment benefits to companies sending four or more participants.

Plan Your Stay »


The listed Wharton faculty and program content are the same for the Philadelphia and San Francisco sessions.

Bilge Yilmaz, PhD   See Faculty Bio

Academic Director

Wharton Private Equity Professor; Professor of Finance; Director, Wharton Alternative Investments Initiative, The Wharton School

Research Interests: Corporate finance, alternative investments, game theory, political economy

David Bard, MBA   See Faculty Bio

Vice President, American Securities

Kevin Kaiser, PhD   See Faculty Bio

Adjunct Professor of Finance; Senior Director, Alternative Investments Initiative, The Wharton School

Research Interests: Corporate finance, managing for value, private equity, financial distress

Perry Golkin, JD   See Faculty Bio

Adjunct Professor of Law, University of Pennsylvania Law School; Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer at Public Pension Capital Management

Bülent Gültekin, PhD   See Faculty Bio

Associate Professor of Finance, The Wharton School

Research Interests: Corporate finance and capital markets, financial development, privatization

Stephen M. Sammut   See Faculty Bio

Lecturer, The Wharton School

Ziad Sarkis   See Faculty Bio

Director of Financial Research, Wharton Alternative Investments Initiative, The Wharton School


At GlaxoSmithKline, I lead the negotiation of deals with smaller biotech companies so we can bring innovative new science and medicines into our internal R&D pipeline which we ultimately develop into medicines. Our company’s R&D budget in 2016 was over $3.6 billion, but as cost pressures on R&D budgets continue to mount, we need to find creative ways to source capital. Taking Wharton’s program was ideal for me because I’ve been looking at alternative ways to finance our R&D pipeline through private equity sources, and through the course I gained critical insights to the inner workings of the private equity sector.

In addition to negotiating business development deals, I also oversee the making of investments into venture capital funds who in turn invest in new biotech start-ups in this space. The course had a module covering the venture capital sector which proved valuable to me in this regard.

I am a finance person by training but the investment side of things was never covered in any detail in any of the schooling I'd had previously, so it’s always been a gray area. There are very limited executive education offerings out there that deal with private equity. Before attending Wharton’s course, I didn’t really appreciate how to approach private equity investors nor who the players were. A big value driver of the course for me was pulling back the curtain of what private equity is — that knowledge is very valuable and I don’t think most people have it. Thanks to the Wharton course, I have much more confidence now when engaging with private equity investors, because now I understand it from the inside.”

Private Equity: Investing and Creating Value - Christopher Quinley Testimonial

Christopher Quinley

Liang & Quinley Wealth Management

Watch the testimonial video

Wharton’s Private Equity program really hit the mark. Our main instructor was very knowledgeable. The class had 17 different countries represented with people from all over the world and all different backgrounds. Best of all, Wharton brought in several guest speakers who were super-relevant for me — people from KKR & Co., Bain Capital, American Securities and other firms.

The program hit all the topics I wanted to learn and having exposure to all those external PE people was excellent. The program gave me a better understanding of why they buy companies, how they structure deals, use of debt, leverage, role of due diligence, and other aspects of private equity.

We are thinking of sending one member of my team to Wharton’s Private Equity program later this year, and I definitely plan to take another Wharton class next year either in San Francisco or Philadelphia.”

Private equity and venture capital are new concepts in Pakistan’s financial markets that can serve as an important trigger to kick-start the economic engine in Pakistan. Very recently, the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) has approved the launch of the first-ever Private Equity Fund in Pakistan with locally generated funds. Being a part of the supervisory team for private equity, I can apply almost everything I learned at Wharton. I expect the program’s value to increase manifold with the advent of several new private equity funds and will enable us to move forward and apply the fundamentals of private equity at Wharton. It will greatly help in assessing analysis like NPV, IRR etc. when evaluating potential deals.

“This course also has helped me better understand and assess the assumptions made by general partners of private equity funds. Wharton emphasized the fact that proper assessment with regard to a potential acquisition makes a significant difference in a deal and you have to get it as close to right as possible. Now if my colleagues and I ever get diverted from those factors highlighted during the program at Wharton, I will be in a position to steer the discussion back to what really matters.

“SECP has a vision of the development of modern and efficient corporate sector and capital market, based on sound regulatory principles that provide impetus for high economic growth and foster social harmony in the country. Those challenges are evolving all the time — so, as a regulator, SECP has to be very creative and come up with new ideas. Over and above that promise, SECP is striving to introduce and promote new financial products to broaden the scope of capital markets in Pakistan and private equity is among one of the most significant products evolving in the country. With the introduction of an enabling regulatory framework, supervision of these funds is viewed as a challenge and Wharton has sharpened my skills as I can identify risks for the stakeholders and different aspects of deal negotiation for private equity funds.

“I can honestly say that I was very impressed that the program attracted such a diverse group of participants in terms of geographical locations, gender and professions. I personally like to build relationships with such a diverse group of participants from across the world. We have stayed in touch after the course and I treat (each relationship) as an opportunity to share our experiences and opportunities for mutual benefits.”

The mechanics of the private equity world can be mysterious, even to many executives in other sectors of the financial services market. The way Wharton laid out the curriculum for this course really shed light on what private equity is, how it works, and where it’s going. The program also helped me to better understand the PE framework and decision-making process as well as the sector’s focus on using leverage and creating value. The week at Wharton provided an interesting peek under the tent, learning from active participants and pioneers in private equity.

One of the real benefits you get from going through a class at Wharton is the networking with other participants, alumni, and professors. I have walked away with interesting new relationships that I intend to keep.”

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