Cambridge Scoops Private Equity Talent from BP

Vicky Williams has left the oil giant’s UK pension team to become a consultant.

Cambridge Associates has hired Vicky Williams from BP’s pension as it seeks to grow its private equity expertise.

Williams joins as a senior investment director, and was previously head of private equity at BP Investment Management, responsible for nearly £2 billion ($2.9 billion) of assets. She has held similar roles at the British Airways and Shell UK pensions, and has worked on the limited partner advisory board of the British Venture Capital Association.

Alex Koriath, head of Cambridge Associates’ European pensions practice, said in a statement that Williams “really knows what it takes to successfully put together a private investment allocation.”

“We are seeing pension funds that have traditionally steered clear of private investments now consider not just private equity but the whole gamut of private investments—including private debt and niche strategies,” Koriath added. Cambridge is receiving an increasing number of private equity-related requests from pension funds in the UK and Europe, he said.

“In an environment of prolonged low interest rates and expected returns, the illiquidity premium and alpha that private investments offer will play an increasingly important role in pension schemes’ strategies,” Williams said.

Booming demand for private equity will lead to industry assets exceeding $4 trillion in the next two years, according to a Deloitte analysis published last month.

The industry will further grow to $4.66 trillion by 2020, the consultant estimated. As of 2015, assets under management, including dry powder and the unrealized value of portfolio companies, totaled $3.65 trillion.

Cambridge Associates’ President and Head of Global Investments David Druley is set to succeed current CEO Sandra Urie on July 1.

Related: Another Trillion Dollars for Private Equity & Cambridge Associates Taps New Chairman and CEO