Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Welcome | How it all started | A comment to the PEGCC

Welcome to my first post!
As I mentioned in my Twitter feed (over to the right of this post), I had been keeping a lot of my thoughts on private equity in general limited to 140 characters with links, and had toyed with the idea of putting more content into a blog. Well, the toying is over, and I offer you all this result.
Unlike the other great private equity journalists over at Fortune, PEHub, Dealbook, etc., I have an very different background that led up to my curiosity...

The year was 2007 and I was contemplating making my next move into the real world. I had the opportunity to go back into equity research, but a small firm was hiring and attracted me to apply for a job. A few months later, I happily received and accepted an offer, and 2 years later, here I am. 

The firm exposed me directly to the private equity industry and firms within it, as they are our main clients. During my first year, I heavily concentrated on project work, but while the analysis interested me, I grew more and more curious about the intertwining relationships within the industry, from deal flow to how firms determine industries and/or sub-sectors as the flavor of the months. With some general marketing experience under my belt, I then transitioned into a business development/marketing role, where I now handle activities for the firm, along with providing research and analysis.

As I read more and more articles from online and print publications, I started making my own observations about the industry, starting with the reputation it gets. When you compare it to the banking industry, private equity comes off as an old dog slowly getting used to the modern way of life. With only 1 real lobbying group (The Private Equity Growth Capital Council, formerly the Private Equity Council) behind the industry as a whole, the average reader only gets a snippet of how diverse the industry truly is. The growth of middle-market private equity activity, for example, gets masked by the Steve Schwarzmans and Henry Kravises, and while you see individual efforts by top executives like David Rubenstein to clear the air, it's not enough.

To the PEGCC if they ever see this: it's going to be a matter of time before the private equity industry comes under Congress's microscope again, and not just because of the carried interest debate. With so many dividend recap deals going on now combined with junk-rated loans set to expire in the next few years, there is only so much time to take a modern approach for a public relations effort. 

As I write more posts, I'll go more into some ideas on what firms and the industry can and should do, along with my takes on key deals going on, popular industries and sub-sectors, and private equity-focused conferences and panels. Please leave any comments, complaints, suggestions, etc. on the posts, as I am slowly getting more experienced in the blogging area of work.
On the more fun side, expect a set of posts called "You'd Never Expect It..." which I'll put a private equity-owned company that, well, I would never expect to be owned by PE! (I'll put my reason why, don't worry.) 
I'm not a journalist. I'm just someone who has been amazed by the private equity industry. The intelligence that goes behind the deals, the men and women on deal teams and operations teams, it all has left me in awe.


jjnowaczyk said...

Looking forward to reading regularly. Good luck. Have fun!

SS said...

Thanks so much, John! Looking forward to your comments.

(C) said...
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