Meet our D&I Leadership Team
Valeria Hegnauer, Lead Operator, Private Equity Goods & Products
You are a Lead Operator in the Private Equity Goods & Products team, leading the Global PE Operations unit, based in our Zug office. What are your key responsibilities?
In my current role, I work closely with the investment teams across all verticals on various portfolio-wide programs to drive functional excellence and ensure platform building and capitalization on the growing scale of Partners Group. We act as a sparring partner to the investment teams responsible for defining, documenting, and managing oversight of best-practice standards across direct equity portfolio globally. Additionally, PE Operations owns the portfolio company review framework and leverages it as a feedback mechanism to drive continuous improvement in the status of strategic initiatives.
When did you join Partners Group and how has your role progressed over that time?
I joined Partners Group almost 13 years ago as a transactional lawyer. Over the years I have seen our company grow and develop into a global private markets firm. I had the privilege to be a part of this incredible success journey having worked on several landmark transactions, becoming entrusted with the management of the Transaction Services team in Europe, and subsequently getting an opportunity to build the Global PE Operations unit.
You are a D&I leader at Partners Group, heading up our Parents Network. What are the priorities for the group and what initiatives are you working on?
People drive performance and working parents make up a significant portion of our workforce. Our network members represent all types of modern families and parenting formats. I am fortunate to be working with many role models in my capacity as the Parents Network lead, but the reality is that working parenthood is tough – parents are on duty 24/7 and need to constantly perform at 200%. Hence, it is our top priority to bring parents to the forefront and ensure Partners Group remains an attractive employer to working parents. Our current projects are geared towards establishing solutions around childcare support (campus nursery, access to backup childcare) and enabling continuous learning on the topics of parenthood, work-life balance, and emotional health.
"Open communication is key to creating a positive and engaging atmosphere, empowering working parents to sustain their careers and professional development while raising families. Each of us can contribute to this."
Did becoming a parent change how you communicate at work? If so, how?
I am a mom to two wonderful girls and through my parenting journey I became more considerate of my time, re-gained my positive attitude (seeing the glass half-full again) and I realized I have more trust (and patience) now to let my team members unlock their full potential. I believe that parenthood opened new perspectives to me and made my communication style more versatile and inclusive.
How can we make working parents feel more supported and to help them achieve a work-life balance that works for them?
Open communication is key to creating a positive and engaging atmosphere, empowering working parents to sustain their careers and professional development while raising families. Each of us can contribute to this. As a group of like-minded people, the Parents Network facilitates the return to work and transition back into the workplace through peer-to-peer coaching and practical support.
What advice would you give to new parents?
Stay true to yourself, take your time to adjust to the new reality and learn how to reconcile competing family needs and work challenges. Maintain an open dialogue with your manager and co-workers to avoid the risk of being misread or misunderstood. Tackle potential issues and concerns head-on. Lastly, remember that the notion of “quality time over face time” remains equally true in the family context and in the office.