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 designed for institutional investors as well as investment professionals aspiring to be better private equity managers. This 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 to build optimal investment processes.

Academic Director Bilge Yilmaz on how Private Equity provides investors with a framework for creating value.

Program Experience

Highlights and Key Outcomes

In Private Equity: Investing and Creating Value, you will:

  • 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 a bank
  • Work in teams to review actual deal scenarios, both middle market and megafund, and debate recommendations with faculty and peers for new perspective
  • Gain experience in navigating the complex arena of global private equity and emerging markets

Experience & Impact

Private Equity: A Deal Proposal

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. Participants will have an opportunity to focus on areas of individual interest, such as the limited partners perspective, middle markets, distressed private equity, and private equity in emerging markets. There will also be time for case studies and group discussion.

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 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
  • Distressed Private Equity
  • Private Equity In Emerging Economies

Wharton faculty and alumni will share their experiences and discuss their views on the private equity landscape. 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 variety of private equity deals. Teamwork on case studies will expose participants to both the mechanics and art of the deal through a real-world lens. This approach will ensure that participants understand the key drivers in the private equity market, differences between funds’ strategies, and how those strategies can play out for investors.

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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.

Who Should Attend

Private Equity — 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

Fluency in English, written and spoken, is required for participation in Wharton Executive Education programs unless otherwise indicated.

Participant Profile

Participants by Industry

Private Equity participants by Industry

Participants by Job Function

Private Equity participants by job function

Participants by Region

Private Equity participants by region

Plan your stay in Philadelphia

Plan Your Stay

This program is held at the Steinberg Conference Center located on the University of Pennsylvania campus in Philadelphia. Meals and accommodations are included in the program fees. Learn more about planning your stay at Wharton’s Philadelphia campus.

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.


Bilge Yilmaz

Bilge Yilmaz, PhDSee Faculty Bio

Academic Director

Wharton Private Equity Professor; Professor of Finance; Director, Joshua J. Harris Alternative Investments Program, The Wharton School

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

David Bard

David Bard, MBASee Faculty Bio

Lecturer and Senior Fellow, Finance Department, The Wharton School; Managing Director, Halifax Group

Burcu Esmer

Burcu Esmer, PhDSee Faculty Bio

Research Fellow, Joshua J. Harris Alternative Investments Program; Lecturer, The Wharton School

Research Interests: Research Interests: Empirical corporate finance, alternative investments

Kevin Kaiser

Kevin Kaiser, PhDSee Faculty Bio

Adjunct Professor of Finance; Senior Director, Joshua J. Harris Alternative Investments Program, The Wharton School

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

Bulent Gultekin

Bülent Gültekin, PhDSee Faculty Bio

Associate Professor of Finance, The Wharton School

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

Stephen Sammut

Stephen SammutSee Faculty Bio

Lecturer, Management Department; Senior Fellow, Health Care Management Department, The Wharton School

Ziad Sarkis

Ziad SarkisSee Faculty Bio

Director of Financial Research, Joshua J. Harris Alternative Investments Program, The Wharton School


Carly XiaoU.S. Investment Lead, Midea Group

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.”

Brian McVeighVice President, Worldwide Business Development Transactions & Investment Management, GSK

Christopher QuinleyLiang & Quinley Wealth Management

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.”

Jon ReevesVice President, Managing Director for Private Equity, SAP

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.”

Aamir QureshiAdditional Joint Director, Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan

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.”

Jonathan W. RobertsBanking Executive

Date, Location, & Fees

November 4 – 8, 2019Philadelphia, PA$10,950

April 20 – 24, 2020Philadelphia, PA$11,280

Download the program schedule, including session details.

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Hotel Information

Fees for Philadelphia programs include accommodations and meals. Prices are subject to change.

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