Term Sheet

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Private equity: We're hiring

April 30, 2012: 12:33 PM ET

Thirty-seven percent of private equity firms are expanding their payrolls in the first half of 2012, according to a survey conducted by auditing firm EisnerAmper. Another 56% said they expect staffing levels to remain constant, while just 7% plan to reduce headcount.

Overall, more than half of all respondents said they plan to hire new financial and operational professionals sometime this year, while a third also plan to hire research analysts. Just over a quarter also expect to add staff in compliance -- a figure EisnerAmper had expected to be higher, due to increased regulatory requirements of Dodd-Frank.

Here are some other survey results:

  • Manufacturing/distribution received more interest than any other additional sector, rising to 46% from a prior H2 2011 survey. It was followed by business services (falling to 43% from 55%) and healthcare (falling from 46% to 41%). The only sectors outside of manufacturing/distribution to show half-to-half increases were life sciences (13% to 21%), real estate (9% to 12%) and consumer (9% to 10%).
  • Half of respondents said that their current fund has 25% of dry powder remaining. Not hugely surprising -- and portends a busy fundraising season -- and was matched by 50% who said their current fund was at least three years-old (24% older than 5 years).
  • More than 40% of respondents expect H1 2012 increases in new deal closings and dispositions. A slight majority expects the availability of debt financing to remain stable.

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About This Author
Dan Primack
Dan Primack
Senior Editor, Fortune

Dan Primack joined Fortune.com in September 2010 to cover deals and dealmakers, from Wall Street to Sand Hill Road. Previously, Dan was an editor-at-large with Thomson Reuters, where he launched both peHUB.com and the peHUB Wire email service. In a past journalistic life, Dan ran a community paper in Roxbury, Massachusetts. He currently lives just outside of Boston.

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