Ten years ago private equity was a rare thing in the UK. Today, thousands of pubs, restaurants and hotels are in, or have passed through, private-equity hands. A combination of property backing, steady cash flows and readily available cheap debt has made the leisure industry a favourite target for venture capitalists.
This trend has opened up opportunities for career managers to share directly in the wealth creation process via a range of equity schemes. While directors of quoted companies have enjoyed share options for a generation, private equity has democratised share ownership by enfranchising senior and sometimes middle management too.