l to r: Greg R. Kilpatrick, Partner, McGuireWoods and Gerald V. Thomas II, Partner, McGuireWoods
McGuireWoods is celebrating the one-year anniversary of its Black Professionals in Private Equity & Finance (BPE) initiative, which brings together professionals from across the financial services sector to network, share ideas and promote change in the industry.
BPE is the brainchild of McGuireWoods partners Greg R. Kilpatrick and Gerald V. Thomas II, who created BPE to help Black private equity and finance professionals develop business opportunities and drive progress toward a more diverse and inclusive community. The initiative features panel discussions and roundtables with leaders in the financial services sector and an online series highlighting trailblazers and rising stars. BPE leaders also appear on McGuireWoods’ “Deal Us In” podcast, part of the firm’s Women in Private Equity & Finance initiative, and on McGuireWoods’ healthcare-focused “Across the Table” podcast.
“Access to capital is a persistent challenge for Black-owned businesses and McGuireWoods wants to be part of the solution,” said Kilpatrick, chair of the firm’s Securities & Capital Markets Department and co-leader of BPE with Thomas. “We believe that increasing diversity in private equity and finance will result in more capital flowing to Black and other minority owned businesses.”
Based in Charlotte, North Carolina, Kilpatrick has more than 20 years of corporate practice experience in private equity, securities offerings, and mergers and acquisitions for clients in the banking, retail, technology and manufacturing industries. He leads a team of more than 50 lawyers who represent some of the world’s largest businesses and financial institutions. He is a board member of the Lake Norman Charter School Board of Education and of Hospice and Palliative Care Charlotte Region. Kilpatrick previously served on the board of the Mecklenburg County Bar, where he chaired its diversity and inclusion committee. In 2021, the Minority Corporate Counsel Association named him an MCCA Rainmaker and BTI Consulting Group selected him for its M&A Client Service All-Stars list.
Thomas, chair of the firm’s Tax & Employee Benefits Department, said, “McGuireWoods’ deal work and innovations distinguish the firm as a leader in private equity and finance. BPE builds on that success by providing a platform for Black private equity and finance professionals to expand their relationships and opportunities.”
Based in Atlanta, Thomas has handled complex transactional tax matters for more than two decades. He represents independent sponsors and private equity funds in M&A deals and structures such deals in a tax-efficient manner. He also has represented REITs in public offerings, joint ventures, and mergers and acquisitions totaling billions of dollars. Thomas chairs the Partnerships and Limited Liability Companies Committee of the ABA Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law. His numerous honors include recognition in the Best Lawyers in America, Legal 500 United States and Chambers USA. He also served on Law360’s Tax Authority Federal Board.
Kilpatrick and Thomas have received excellent feedback on BPE from clients and others in the industry. Some clients also have reached out to inquire about partnering with the firm on the BPE initiative.
Noted Thomas: “It has been very inspiring. We’re looking forward to expanding BPE in 2022.”