by Brian DeChesare Comments (58)

From Cold Call to Closed Deal: How a Private Equity Investment Comes Together, Part 3 – The Dotted Line

How a Private Equity Investment Happens“She thinks $60 million is a discounted price? Can someone shoot her with an animal tranquilizer gun until she snaps out of it?” John says, looking around in disbelief at all the other Partners.

David turns to you and his eyes light up as a new idea percolates to the top of his head, and then sputters out of his mouth.

“You do know about the special analyst bonus, right?”

Everyone else in the room laughs, as you contemplate whether or not they really want you to tranquilize the CEO.

$60 million would be 6x EBITDA – a reasonable price for a larger company – but significantly higher than what you’d pay for a small, Founder-dominated business in a niche market.

David speaks up once again as the laughter subsides.

“And let’s not forget about her other demands: she wants to roll over 20% of her ownership and put aside 5% in an options pool for the management team.”

“So we’re paying for an overpriced business and then giving up 25% for no apparent reason. This sounds like a better investment than finding Google in 1998,” John replies while rolling his eyes.

Everyone else sits there in silence as you weigh your options before speaking up.

“Well,” you say, “On a positive note, I think I could call in a few chips to get the financing in place.”

“What bank would even look at this? It’s too small for any of the usual suspects,” David points out.

“Right now everyone’s desperate for business – in normal times they’d say no, but beggars can’t be choosers.”

Calling in the Chips

You crawl back to your office and wonder if you can pull off the financing for this deal – your line to all the Partners was a desperate bluff, and you don’t actually have much to offer bankers.

Plus, you’ll have to hear even more tales of $1500 bottle service bills now that you’re going back to the usual suspects to ask for help.

“This is definitely below the bar,” says your banker friend after you finish outlining the deal.

“I realize $30 million of debt is on the low side, but with the way the market is -” you respond as he cuts you off.

“Look, even if this were the apocalypse and banks were failing left and right, we still wouldn’t look at this – the fees are just too low and it’s not worth our time.”

“We’ve sent you guys a lot of business in the past few years – probably more than any other firm…”

“Yes, and they were all small deals. I appreciate the effort, but the MDs want us to pursue the big game from now on.”

You’ve left your door open for this call, so your favorite unannounced visitor happens to be walking by, overhears your conversation, and steps into your room.

David motions for you to step away and then puts the call on speakerphone.

“We’re willing to give you all future business from our firm over the next year, including refinancings and all sell-side mandates. No competition at all for you,” he promises without hesitation.

“Can you… actually guarantee that?” the banker asks with a rising tone.

You fold your arms and squint at David, wondering what he’s gotten himself into this time.

“We’re planning to flip it in a year or two, and possibly do a refinancing before that – should be at least $10 million in fees for you altogether,” he states without so much as a blink.

“OK then. I’ll run this up the chain and see what they think. Thanks for the offer,” the banker replies.

You turn off the speakerphone, spin your Aeron chair around to face David, and wait for him to explain what just happened.

“Don’t worry,” he reassures you, “They’re bankers – they’ll all be fired or will be at another firm in another year or two anyway. No harm done, and now this deal goes through if we can work out the price and rollover.”

Setting Expectations

“Sorry, but we just can’t get our heads around $60 million,” John says to Nancy, who’s sitting at the head of the table in your conference room in front of all the Partners.

“We could get to $50 million max, but even that’s pushing it. Nothing personal, but the numbers just don’t work out in that range.”

Nancy continues staring at the slide presentation in front of her and attempts to make sense of the returns analysis, but it might as well be Martian to her.

“Understood, but $60 really is the bottom of my range here. With the margins we have, I could just keep running this business for years and make more money than what you’re offering. And unless I can retain at least 20% ownership, my incentive just isn’t strong enough.”

Both sides of the table stare at each other for a few seconds before John breaks the silence.

“We’ll be in touch if anything changes.”

Nancy stands up and walks out of the room, waving goodbye to everyone before closing the door behind her.

“It’s 100% posturing,” David points out, “There’s no way she seriously expects to get $60 million for the business and keep 20% for herself. And we know she wants to leave anyway, so it’s not as if she’s seriously considering running it for another 5 years.”

“That may be true,” says John, “But the numbers really don’twork at those levels – there’s so much uncertainty around the exit that this only makes sense at $50 million max. So we either convince her or we don’t do this deal.”

It’s time to don your Captain Obvious Hat and point out what everyone else is missing.

“What if we just flip it after a year or two? It’s much easier to get to a solid return over a short time period, and that way we can even tell her that she can leave the company after a certain period – once it’s no longer owned by us,” you propose.

David sits back in his chair and puts his hand on his chin as he contemplates your idea.

“That’s true – I doubt she’ll even understand why we’d offer that. And she won’t understand the risk to her if she does leave, so it might just work if we pitch it the right way.”

He cleverly fails to mention how the bankers doing the financing are already expecting you to flip it quickly – hearing that might cause John to toss him out the window.

“OK,” John agrees, “Go back to her and propose $50 million with a 20% rollover and say that in exchange for the lower price, we won’t make her stay beyond 2 years or sign a non-compete.”

Limited Partners = Limited Support?

“And we see this as an exciting way to start investing in the technology space – without all the risk that a bigger investment would entail.”

John is presenting IonX and a few other investments they’re looking at – all of which are much further away – and hoping that the LPs remain confident enough to keep investing in future funds.

Most of them produce nothing but poker faces as John goes through all his slides.

“We’re getting this at a discounted price, and we think it could be a quick-flip for a 20% return in less than a year.”

One of the LPs at the end of the table immediately stands up, slams his binder of materials shut, and scurries toward the door.

“Is… something wrong, Paul?” John asks while folding his hands in front of him.

About to open the door and leap away from the meeting, Paul turns around, drops his binder on the table, and grabs the door knob before speaking up.

“Yeah, you. You and your firm.”

Everyone else turns around to face him as whispers fill the crowded room.

“You raised $750 million for your new fund from all of us, claiming that you had all these great opportunities – and what do you do? You sit on that cash without doing anything for a year, and then you finally bring us a piece of dog crap, put a ribbon on top, and try to call it a gift.”

John raises both hand, blinks, and motions for Paul not to leave the room quite yet.

“I understand why you might be upset, but with the way the market’s been lately…”

Paul cuts him off before he can finish, turning around and removing his hand from the doorknob. “Then why are our other private equity funds still doing real deals? I can’t veto this or tell you not to do it, but I’m not happy about it.”

John walks toward him, binder in hand. “Look, I understand why you might not like IonX, but we have plenty of other…”

Paul opens the door, storms out, and slams it shut.

Back at the Office…

You and David are reviewing the loan documentation from the bank and are looking at different financing options for the deal.

“With the margins they have we should just pick the cheapest option – I’m more concerned with broken covenants than with interest payments,” David points out.

You turn toward your monitor and look at an LBO model with the different financing options built in before swiveling around in your chair and responding.

“That’s true, but we still don’t even know if Nancy is going along with this. I’m not convinced she’s gonna take the bait.”

Just as David leans back and prepares to respond, your phone rings. Time for the speakerphone.

“Hi, it’s Nancy,” the voice announces. “I’ve considered your offer and I’m prepared to move forward as long as you don’t make me sign a non-compete.”

You and David look at each other with your eyes widened and mouths gaping open. But there must be a catch – what would it be?

“But,” she continues, “Some of my managers have figured out what’s going on, and they’re not about to accept a new owner. They know me and like me, and they’re nervous about what will change.”

David puts his hands down on your desk and responds, “We’re not going to change a thing. You will still be running everything; it’s just that you’ll have all of our firm’s resources at your disposal…”

“That may be true, but I think they’d be more confident if all of you came to meet them in-person,” Nancy retorts.

“That would be a great idea,” David says while rolling his eyes and searching for your stress relief ball. “We’re all looking forward to flying out and meeting you.”

“I’ll be in touch with some dates,” she responds, “And please make sure it’s everyone – we should plan for at least a week so they can get to know your team.”

As she hangs up, you and David sit there looking at each other and David turns his gaze toward your window.

“Think they’ll have any beaches there?”

One Door Over…

John is cycling through the call history on his phone and looks down at the 15 unreturned calls he’s made to Paul in the past week. Limited Partners might be “limited,” but that doesn’t prevent them from being passive-aggressive and ignoring contact when it suits them.

He walks over to his whiteboard and looks at the pipeline of potential investments, noting that everything else is at least 6-9 months away.

His phone rings and he slides back to his desk to answer it.

“So, John, ready for some more news on IonX?” David announces.

“Can you start with the good news first?” John replies.

“No good news this time. Do you have a free week in your schedule anytime soon? They want us to fly out and meet their team.”

John glances back at his whiteboard and then the call log on his phone. “Whatever it takes – talk to Suzanne about my schedule,” he says before hanging up.

Leaning back in his chair, he dials the main line, finally resigning himself to his “Plan C” option.

“Get me the new guy, Martin.”

A minute later, Martin shows up at John’s door and attempts to open it three times before finally gathering enough strength to push it open on his fourth try.

“You… wanted to see me, sir?” he stutters while wobbling into the room.

John laughs, stands up, and walks across the room to Martin, standing an inch away from him as he recites his speech.

“There’s no need for formalities. I’ve heard good things about your family. I’d like you to tell me more.”

He smiles and stares Martin straight in the eye, waiting for his response.

Field Trip?

It’s the next week, and all the Partners have flown out to meet IonX in-person. Apparently “everyone” means “everyone except for the person who’s actually doing the work.”

But the office is quiet again, and no one is checking your calling logs now that you and Martin are the only ones there. You’ve been handing off all the grunt work to him – anytime a banker or lawyer has a question, he’s the one in charge.

David has been updating you the whole time, and it looks like the management team is growing more confident that nothing will change post-transaction.

And you’ve been forwarding the in-progress definitive agreement that the legal team has been drafting.

“You should have seen these guys when they saw us,” David says at the tail-end of one of his update calls.

“It’s like they had never seen people dressed in suits before. They were waiting for us to morph into Gekko or Bateman and start murdering people.”

“Sounds like a fun trip,” you say, putting the call on speakerphone and standing up before moving over to your window. “Is it going to close?”

“90% certain now,” David reassures you, “And since bonus season is only a few weeks away, you can bet that we’ll remember everything you’ve done here.”

Your eyes light up as you peer out the window and see a BMW parking right next to your usual spot.

“That’s great,” you say, “So are there any beaches there?”

Pension Power Play

Paul strolls into the entrance of the Ritz Carlton, going on about another investment on his phone and simultaneously typing like a fiend on his Blackberry.

He’s met by a tall, lanky man walking in with a grey suit and a binder of printouts in his hands. He walks over to Paul but gets rebuffed as Paul points to his phone and rolls his eyes.

Finally the call ends, Paul turns toward him and shakes his hand, and they walk toward the interior of the restaurant.

“I was surprised when you called,” Paul says in a cheery voice. “I didn’t think I would see you again after what happened on the Fincher account.”

“Let’s let bygones be bygones,” says the other man. “We’d both do much better as allies rather than enemies.”

They sit down and order medium-rare steak along with a $1000 bottle of 1982 Haut-Brion.

“So why did you really call me, Simon?” Paul asks as he sips his wine and arranges his napkin on his lap.

“I wanted to tell you about a few new investments we’re looking at. In this market no one’s doing any deals except for the distressed funds, which are a huge part of our portfolio.”

“So you’ve just mysteriously decided to extend the olive branch and give me access to all these funds that are actually beating the market?”

Simon turns to the bottle and pours himself a glass, holding it up and reading off the label.

“This is the 1982. Have you tried the ’72 before? I hear it’s even better.”

Paul rolls his eyes, puts down his glass, and then reaches over and takes the wine bottle out of Simon’s hands and places it down on the table.

“Cut the crap. I know you’re not just giving me this gift out of the kindness of your heart, so what do you want in exchange?”

“I want you to look the other way on John and his firm’s performance over the past year. And when they raise another fund, I want you to invest – and I want you to let me into the deal as well.”

Paul starts laughing so hard that he snorts, with red wine nearly bursting out of his nostrils.

“So John put you up to this. Ignore his horrible investments, and you’ll give me a piece of these distressed funds.”

“I didn’t even hear about this from John,” Simon says, “But word of your… displeasure… has spread. They’ve had great performance in the past, and I want to get in on their next fund. The only way that’s gonna happen is if you continue to support them, and then bring me in as well.”

Paul stops laughing for a second, glances up at the chandeliers on the ceiling, and then over at Simon once again.

“Even if I were stupid enough to do this, what could you give me in return? No fund is up more than 10% this year…”

Simon opens up his binder, takes out a few documents, and tosses them across the table to Paul before he cuts him off with his response.

“Those 3 are up 50% year-to-date. They’re closed to new investors, but I can get you in – if you look the other way and keep investing in John’s fund.”

Paul stares at the fund performance documents before tossing them aside and looking up at Simon once again and smirking.

“This just seems too good to be true. And I don’t know why you’re offering me this deal. You’re sure your son isn’t working for John or something?”

The Dotted Line… and Your Bonus?

You stand outside John’s door, waiting for him to summon you in. It’s bonus season, and everyone in the office is acting like 10-year old kids on Christmas morning.

He opens the door and greets you in a cheery voice.

“Congrats!” he shouts, “We did it. The funds were just wired the other day, the loans are in place, and Nancy hasn’t even run off to a tropical island and abandoned everyone. Yet.”

He waves around the signed definitive agreement while leaning back in his chair and pointing to the dotted line on the page.

“So, about your bonus. We realize how much you contributed to the IonX deal, and we really want to reward you for your performance.”

This better be good – anything less than a 20% raise over last year might cause you to jump out your window after what you’ve been through getting this deal done.

He hands you a slip of paper, and you stare at it in disbelief as your mouth drops open and stays there until you look up to face him once again.

“This is down 10% over last year – I brought in the IonX deal and got it done. Without me, you’d have 0 closed deals this year.”

“We know that. But look at what happened to the market – it’s a train wreck everywhere. Everyone else’s bonus was down 30%. And let’s be fair, David also helped get this deal done. You know we can’t just give juniors arbitrary pay.”

An image of David sitting around on the beach while “getting to know” Nancy and her team pops into your head.

“And if it weren’t for Martin, we wouldn’t have had LP support. He did terrific work for a new guy!”

Up until now, you hadn’t even known that Martin contributed anything aside from confusion and answers to random due diligence questions.

“His family’s very well-connected. But I’m sure you understand that, right? You really have to be a team player to succeed as an investor.”

You thank John, turn around, and leave the room, trying your hardest not to slam the door behind you.

You walk back to your office, slump down in your chair, and pick up the phone to call your friend at a larger fund and learn what bonuses at normal places were like this year.

But as you place the call, you decide that there’s something else you’re more curious about first.

“Hey there,” you say, “Just wanted to find out about bonuses this year. But before we get to that, I just wanted to know – are you guys hiring?

The Full Series

In case you missed parts 1 and 2, you can get them right here:

Coming Up Next: The Web Series

I’m excited to announce that we are turning this 3-part short story into a 6-episode web series that loosely follows the storyline here, but is significantly different – “different” as in better.

I (Brian) am writing the series and financing it, and my good friend Goldie will be producing.

There were a few suggestions to write a novel, but I am much more interested in turning this into a series. And if you follow me on Twitter, you also know that I am borderline obsessed with serialized TV shows and films.

We are aiming to film and edit this by the end of 2011, and then release it in early 2012.

There will be a trailer, and if you’re good you might even get to read the script for the first episode.

Stay tuned!

M&I - Brian

About the Author

Brian DeChesare is the Founder of Mergers & Inquisitions and Breaking Into Wall Street. In his spare time, he enjoys memorizing obscure Excel functions, editing resumes, obsessing over TV shows, traveling like a drug dealer, and defeating Sauron.

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Comments

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  1. Cool series.

    This summer I visited a search fund’s office that could make for it’s own, at least, mini segment. 150 sq. ft. held the over stressed founder, 3 computers, and at least 4 interns. This bathroom sized office also contained the buildings’ hot water heater.

    The fund was set up in an incubator. The incubator building is in a previously run-down part of town that has become very trendy. Allegedly the building’s value went from $300K to $800K and the owner sold it.

    The search fund didn’t want to move so they shoved it into the hot water heater room in the back.

    Our ‘meeting’ took place in the middle of the 150 sq. ft. where two couch chairs are located. I could almost touch 2 of the interns if I had to. The conversation was supposed to be high level but everyone could hear it due to proximity.

    Real life is far more ridiculous than anything fictional.

    Remind me to tell you about the broker with one barely functioning eye who tried to rip me off at 10X cash for a declining business, the convicted felon(literally) owner who sent me a page of hate email, the guy who WAS the business who “wouldn’t take a penny less than $10M,” the broke millionaire who called me a vulture via speaker phone for offering above market value, and they guy who kept claiming for 3 mos. that $500K ebitda was really $1M “no matter how you look at it…” I could go on.

    Funny industry, this business buying. ;)

    1. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Great series! I dont know how many times I’ve watched it. Brian, I am working to get into private equity, would you mind to advise and review my resume?

    1. We offer coaching and resume editing services here:

      https://www.mergersandinquisitions.com/services/

  3. Is it usual for LP’s to be on the Investment Committee of a PE Firm? I thought PE firms need to run a tightly controlled ship. LP’s would just be in the way of executing deals smoothly especially if average deals is being tabled.

  4. I’m sure this is beneath your pay grade, but I’m not in business, I just enjoy this site. Why would a PE group raise funds if they are going to use a bank’s funds in the purchase? Why raise LP funds at all?

    1. Namelessguy

      Basically it’s to maximise investor returns. Say you buy a house for £100k and sell it for £105k – clearly you’ve made 5%. Now in a different scenario you buy the house for £100k but you borrow £80k using only £20k of your own money. Now when you sell the house you’ve still only made £5k but you made a 25% return in your capital.

  5. Would it be a realistic goal to try and work for a private equity or venture capital firm in Denver after first doing investment banking in san francisco/ chicago/ new york?

    I know there are firms in Denver after some quick research:

    http://www.bizjournals.com/denver/blog/broadway_17th/2013/04/top-of-the-list-denvers-top-venture.html

    But is it unlikely that I could really hope for a job in Denver because of how few firms there are?

    1. M&I - Nicole

      Yes, this is doable despite the few numbers of firms. You’ll just have to network a lot and get your name out there!

  6. Hey Brian,

    Awesome story – really made for a compelling read! :)

    Just wondering – how different would be a similar story in a VC scenario?

  7. so….what’s happening with the web series? still happening?

    1. It is done filming, currently in the editing process. Aiming for summer 2012 release. However, we may actually submit it to film festivals first rather than releasing it on here at least at first.

      1. trailer?

        1. Coming soon. Release in Sep 2012.

          1. Looking forward to it!

  8. Northerner

    Loved the read.

    Small mistake I noticed (I think)…
    “Paul stops laughing for a second, glances up at the chandeliers on the ceiling, and then over at Paul once again.”

    Should be “…Simon once again.”

  9. ooo! and also make it more international like including shanghai in your story!!! we all know China’s where the action’s at right now!!

  10. just a thought: can you add some kick-ass hot private equity female characters to spice things up? it’s like a sausage fest so far =P

    1. Yes the series has major changes including more female characters, more non-work stuff, drugs, crazy people, expensive toys, etc. But finance is a male-dominated industry so we can’t just make everyone female or it wouldn’t be realistic.

      1. yes ofcourse, which is great because the cattyness is replaced by raging testosterones, which i wont complain!

  11. i love this story! you’re totally hot for writing this ;)

  12. Hey Brian,

    Another great read! I loved reading all 3 episodes, and they were awesom (fun, informational and realistic)!

    Anywyas, reading your series made me think about PE, and here is may question:

    How do the senior partners at PE reached those positions? Of course there would be people from various backgrounds, but TYPICALLY; did most of them start as associates at PE’s and moved up?
    Or is it more common to transfer from IB’s M&A or any groups after reaching certain level such as VP, Director or MD’s?!?

    Thanks in advance for your response!

    1. Most of them started out as associates and moved up… recommended a good investment idea, it turned out well, kept doing it, got promoted eventually, etc. Some came from other backgrounds like law or Big 4, but most started out in IB/PE. It is extremely uncommon and nearly impossible to transition over at the mid-level. https://www.mergersandinquisitions.com/investment-banking-promotions/

  13. Campbell

    Great story, even with a limited finance background it was simple enough to understand. My favorite part had to have been the ending when John mentions Martin and talks about his contributions. I can’t wait for the web series to come out.

    1. Hah the ending is even better in the scripts we’ve written – talk about armageddon…

  14. Hey Brian,

    Good job of giving a fair idea of working on the M&A side..I m on the Debt side & am planning to move to the M&A/PE side…Now after reading this, I m seriously contemplating my plans.

    1. Keep in mind it is just a story… not all PE firms are like this, of course, and I added in situations for dramatic effect. But yes, the buy-side really isn’t as great as people say it is.

  15. John Chilcott

    Hey Brian,

    Awesome writing–I laughed so hard at times!!! Funnier than Liar Poker! Here in Tokyo I do enjoy a good American finance read.

    1. Thanks! Just wait until you see the series, it will be way better than some other recent finance movies (OK I guess that’s not saying much).

  16. I think you are being overly critical of the PE industry. Lots of things don’t happen like that and this sounds like a very small fund that crushes its analysts. It rarely happens like that and it seems you are taking a “monkey business” approach to writing the story instead of presenting the boring facts.

    1. You just answered your own question: people don’t want to read “boring facts.” They want to get a flavor of what working in the industry is like and the pressures you might face when times are not so good. A story about Excel would not be compelling – a spreadsheet is not exactly an interesting character.

      I expect that if you’re reading this site, you’re intelligent enough to discern what is intended as pure advice vs. what is intended to be entertainment.

      1. Okay I agree with that, but perhaps spruce in some of the fun parts too.

        I do get to travel sometimes as the junior associate and after a deal closes I hope you get to write about the fun part of the job (just flying around enjoying fancy dinners and nice hotels).

        1. There will be a lot of fun parts, strippers, and drug use in the web series version. All of which are 110% accurate, of course (sarcasm).

  17. Little unrelated. I’m trying to get a fall internship and I have been cold e-mailing, then cold calling boutique IB in the city where my University is. In addition, I have been applying to various firms through my school’s career database and have found a firm that is a “broker dealer”. They have e-mailed me after I applied and I was wondering if you think that an internship working on private placements, institutional trading and sales, and various business development tasks is worth it/could be applicable at all. Thanks

    1. Yes it could definitely be worth it esp. if you don’t have other finance experience.

  18. Hi Brian, I was wondering if it’s possible to get an internship during the semester. And how can I best position myself for that? Thanks.

    1. Yes some firms do school-year internships but mostly in Europe and/or at boutiques (see the cold calling articles).

  19. Great work Brian!

  20. Nice read, as always.

    You should also probably know that over here in Asia, we don’t employ such pansy-ass techniques as tranquilising people. It’s straight to the firing squad or the end of a rope.

    Probably the rope. Cheaper than a bullet, and it’s reusable, too.

    1. Very true, I like the firing squad and rope ideas. I was thinking of resurrecting Genghis Khan and summoning 100,000 Mongol soldiers too, but felt that would be out of place.

  21. Steve Ng

    Looking forward other parts ! Storyline is amazing, good work Brian

    1. Thanks! Yeah I actually just finished writing all 6 episodes the other day but still need to cast, find crew, film, and edit, which will take months. But more news soon.

  22. Good story Brian. Really like your depiction of David tapping here peeking there. And the story very much resembles my imagination of PE world. I really look forward to the web series coming up next. And, yeah, you write better than Mike Lewie.

    1. Thanks! Not sure about that last part haha but hopefully the rest will entertain you.

  23. Hey Brian,

    Just magic buddy,a good read!

    On a side note..I will gladly play the guy with the tranq gun if you need someone,I`ll do it for free if you let me shoot someone.You did say the series is better?
    Oh,and can someone actually score some models and bottles,please?

    1. Thanks! Haha yeah the series is just more visual and has more drama, so it’s more entertainment than education. And you can’t really have things like exposition or characters’ thoughts on the screen.

      But yes, there will be plenty of models and bottles, plus plentiful drug use, strippers, and lots of fancy and expensive toys.

      1. Can`t bloody wait! Look at what a guy has to come up with so nobody asks about the CFA or GPA….I can tranq future offenders if you like?

        1. Death by dragon would also be acceptable (reading too much Game of Thrones lately…).

  24. Brian, you kick ass.

    I was thinking about suggesting that you make the story into a series while I was halfway down the story, but I guess now I don’t need to ask. Can’t wait to watch the video. Guess you’re going to be the New Leveraged Sellout.

    1. Thanks! Yeah should be fun. The series is more visual and accessible and has less finance jargon and more crazy people / drama so writing it has been interesting.

  25. BrownBanker

    Hey Brian

    Good stuff, as always. Looking forward to your web series!

    On a side note, I sense a lack of attention to detail here, but I’ll let you off… Haha when you said “John stares at the fund performance documents before tossing them aside and looking up at Simon once again and smirking.”, I’m sure you meant Paul instead of John.

    But apart from that, I have no problems.

    Regards

    1. Yeah you’re right, just fixed that one… too aggressive with find and replace.

  26. Oh Brian, it is really a great story in all senses. I read it at the first time. I am wondering whether all the banking guys have the intrinsic quality to be the next O.Henry. You really rise our expectations at the middle and damped them down at the surprising end. I would say it is really true in Private Equity. I strongly support you to produce a film or series to tell people what is the real interesting thing in the world.

    1. Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it. Haha I think I’m far from the next O. Henry (or any other famous writer) but I do enjoy writing. Most bankers don’t like it too much and prefer numbers/formulas to words, though.

      Excited to start the series and will hopefully be able to announce more there soon!

      1. I believe most of us readers are too eager to wait for your series. And I will definitely be the first one to follow it. BTW, a little suggestion is that maybe you could shift the font size to 14 of your posting since the current 12 font is really some kind of fatigue to read given the articles are generally not short. I usually have to enlarge the whole page in order to read them easily. How do you think about it?

        1. Just use Ctrl + or the mouse wheel to enlarge the screen. Doing a re-design now so may change that.

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