Julie Hong Clayton is a self-described deal fanatic. She has close to twenty years in the equity capital markets arena with one absolute constant.
“I love crafting creative solutions for our portfolio companies and adapting real time to environments where you can’t control all the inputs,” explains Clayton, partner at TPG, where she leads the firm’s equity capital markets. “It’s such a dynamic atmosphere and confronting the unexpected is something I really thrive on.”
Clayton took on her equity capital markets leadership role at TPG at a time when only a handful of private equity firms had the position, and she elevated the function to become a differentiator for the firm. As the first woman in this role across the private equity landscape, she is recognized for her work promoting its impact and is seen as a role model, which she accredits to TPG’s open culture.
Clayton has called TPG home since 2013, after making sure to do her diligence on the culture and firm mindset before joining. She was drawn to the fact that individual employees are empowered to push boundaries while still prioritizing the overarching goal, outlook, and vision of collaboration and creativity.
“The ethos of this firm is built around rewarding innovation and celebrating the uniqueness of the individual while still embracing a team mindset,” Clayton says. “I think that is probably the clearest way to describe our culture.”
At TPG, Clayton’s journey has included being one of the key business leaders working on the firm’s IPO in 2022. She was proud to be on the stage at NASDAQ to ring the opening bell and celebrate the momentous occasion.
While the TPG IPO was a capstone achievement in her career, Clayton adds that some of her most meaningful memories at TPG are of challenging moments. “The situations I think about most fondly are actually the times when our senior-most leaders and professionals have hunkered down, side by side with me to navigate unexpected deal dynamics,” she explains. “It is so important to me to be part of a team who has my back, where I’m heard and trusted.”
Along with the firm’s own IPO, Clayton is acutely focused on optimizing IPOs and equity capital markets transactions for TPG’s portfolio companies. “I anticipate and distill the needs and contributions of the whole ecosystem of people required in the complex process of bringing a company public,” Clayton explains. “And when you’re able to lead with empathy, build credibility, and earn trust, it can really drive the outcome forward in incredible ways.”
Despite her prolific transaction experience, Clayton has never been one to fight for the spotlight. She says she’d much rather give credit than take it, and she had the benefit of working for leaders who set that example just as magnanimously throughout her career. And while she demands a lot from herself and from her team, she understands the value of appreciating the expertise and feats of those around her.