Weblogs on private equity seem to be abortive. They start, stagnate and then halt altogether. Their half-finished efforts are left dangling for anyone with a search engine to wander across and wonder after. "No updates in 6 months? Hmmm." This seemed odd to me. What causes such half-failures? Workload? Discovery? Boredom? Litigation? There must be some reason.
For a topic that seems to command so much rapt, even fanatical attention, there don't seem to be many personal diary style weblogs from practitioners. I started off wondering why, aside from the obvious confidentiality issues and such, there weren't more that endure. Even confidentiality hasn't stopped some other weblogs (with anonymous or public authors) from printing scandalous revelations about their work life. Why the issue with private equity? It could be that I am about to find out what the impediment is.
There are few fields today as well marketed to potential employees as private equity. One discovers, as with most things, that actually practicing in the field is a much different thing than you are led to believe by the many, costly guides, consultants, recruiters, professors, lecturers, key-note speakers and associates who eagerly impart how exciting and pure the space is. I thought I might inject a dose of "reality," if there is such a thing.
It turns out, that things are far less organized, professional or straight-forward than insiders might have you believe. Having my eyes opened to this fact has been quite an experience. Worth sharing? You tell me.
It would be unfair to say that I am jaded. A bit disillusioned maybe. No longer blinded, perhaps, by the sparkling finish on the surface of private equity. Irreverent? Absolutely. But I still enjoy what I do. Perhaps more so after having discovered that, like all human endeavors, private equity is as full of nonsense and, inadvertent sometimes even unwitting, comic relief as any other field. Maybe even more so. If nothing else, that makes it fun.
I guess I don't know who my audience is. Business school students? Probably. They certainly should have the most hungry ears for "the behind the scenes" story. Bankers? Sure. Lawyers? Why not? Insiders? Maybe. Maybe not. Egos run to the large side in the field. Maybe what I have to say won't treat those with the kid gloves they have become accustomed to. Oh well.
Of course, I am not crazy. My name won't appear here. If that is an issue for you, find another weblog to read. I like my job, and my paycheck, after all. And while some other insiders might piece together parts and end up guessing at the "real names" of some of the companies, institutions, deals and characters here, that's not my intention.
I start with Prologues I-VI. Brief histories on how private equity got here, and how I got into private equity. Of course, it would be nice if this gives newcomers a bit of an introduction and business students a glimmer of hope.
Following the prologues, my writings will fall into one of six categories:
"Done Deals" tracks the inner workings of deals my firm, or another firm, manages to close on.
"Getting In" revolves around recruiting and the process of getting into the business.
"Overheard" will be populated with witty (or frightening) quotes I overhear from time to time.
"Social Equity" concentrates more on the people inside private equity and their antics.
"The Business" will be filled with my blithe commentary on the world of private equity.
"Trainwrecks" will outline the flaming spirals of deals that go wrong.
Could be a fun ride. Hop on.