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Semaphore's 2024 Confidence Results Revealed

Discover the latest insights from Semaphore's 2024 Confidence Survey

"I’ve got to admit it; it‘s getting better, a little better all the time (can't get much worse).”

With apologies to the Beatles that their music could belie our industry, this lyric came in a comment to our 16th Annual Semaphore Confidence Survey and seemed to summarize the entirety of the record responses received. Our respondents, while recognizing challenges, were decidedly optimistic about themselves, the state of the industry, their ability to deal with inherent problems, and rather certain that incomes would continue to climb.

Four overriding observations deserve note. First, women respondents more than doubled to 25%. Total participation exceeded 1400 responses, double last year and the largest number we have ever experienced. Artificial Intelligence is anticipated to capture the largest investment market share in 2024, far and away the hottest industry sector. Lastly, despite dismal lack of confidence in the Biden administration, over the three weeks the survey remained open, the expectation of whether the President would be reelected grew from 30% in the initial week to 46% at the end - mirroring recent political polls. Someone else with a higher pay grade than me can analyze whether and how all these connect.

The commentary remained enlightening and entertaining. Please conduct your own review and analysis of our audience opinion and whether you abide by them. Click here for the survey results and a representative sampling of commentary on matters of the industry, race, carried interest, sexual harassment, breaking up Big Tech, and whether Sam Altman should be running Open AI – 78% say yes with comments ranging from “He’s a genius” to “He’s a fraud”.

Results intrigued as usual with definitive confidence in yourselves (82%) and a 4X increase in the economy just twelve months ago (40% have confidence today in the US and 12% International), with a single digit 1% confidence in the US Congress. President Biden confidence rating held steady at just 24% with 58% expressing a lack of no confidence in US national tax and spending policies.

For the first time, less than a majority, 47% of you, earned more in 2023 than the prior year, while 58% expect to do so this year. This is a bounce back in confidence as last year we reported the lowest numbers of increased income expectation ever recorded.

Surprisingly, 56% do not support elimination of carried interest rates compared to 70% last year, with 44% apparently agreeing with one commenter that “Greed is not good”.

Our respondents don’t wish to have Big Tech broken up (72%), believe that sexual misconduct, harassment, and gender bias remains a problem (68%), both virtually the same numbers as last year. 51%, a slightly smaller majority than last year at 55%, believe inherent racism is a structural industry obstacle.

Respondents were from 25 states with California, Massachusetts and New York making up 59% of the US response. 38 other countries were represented with 37% of international respondents from Canada, UK and Germany (36% last year).

Males represented 74%, 25% Females and, 1% self-reported Gender X of those participating this year. 9% of you were from PE shops (way down from 24% last year); 34% were VCs; 3% Hedge Funds; 13% LPs; 10% operating executives; 9% Investment Bankers; and 22% third party vendors/advisors to the industry (lawyers, accountants, etc.) – the last two categories were double last year’s proportion.

Back to the Beatles – the song noted is “Getting Better” on the Sgt. Pepper’s album. The initial idea for the song's title came from a phrase often spoken by Jimmie Nicol, the group's stand-in drummer for the Australian leg of their 1964 world tour when he replaced Ringo who was ill. Take a listen – here’s hoping things do get better all the time.

Check out the complete results and engaging opinion by clicking here.

Mark DiSalvo is Founder and CEO of Sema4 Inc., dba Semaphore,, a leading global professional services provider to troubled Private Equity, Venture Capital and Hedge funds under management. Semaphore currently holds fiduciary obligations as General Partner for fourteen funds, is a New Markets Tax Credit provider, and advises Limited Partners around the world. Semaphore’s corporate offices are in Boston with offices in Barcelona, Dallas, London, Luxembourg, New York, and Washington DC.


Topics: Venture Capital, equity, private equity funds, Semaphore, limited partners, turnaround, technology, diligence, small businesses, growth equity investments, market, analysis, venture funds, private equity, ethics, ethical standards, business, Survey

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