The gathering storm: Preparing portfolio companies for a downturn

As warning signals of a global economic downturn become increasingly convincing, private equity portfolio companies are likely to come under pressure. "Investment committees need to sharpen their focus on downside risk as they think about businesses and be prepared to walk away from deals that they feel are overly exposed," says Vinit Bhatia, a partner in Bain & Company's Hong Kong office. "Nobody wants to walk away from a deal, especially if you've done a lot of work on it, but it's important to have that discipline."