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From Corporate Life to Private Equity


From Corporate Life to Private Equity


Tom Andrews shares a post on a news article that may resonate with professionals thinking of moving from a corporate position to  private equity.

Nice personal story and reflections here (for those with Times access) from Fiona Hope on the shift from corporate life to private equity ‘jockey’.

(CEO/Entrepreneur = ‘jockey’; the company = ‘horse’; the investor/PE owner = ‘trainer’. In the context of smaller businesses, investors typically attribute 30-40% of success to the jockey and about 50% to the horse.)

What resonates personally (having worked in senior roles in corporates and smaller PE businesses) are the contrasts she draws – the opportunity for impact, the accountability and the entrepreneurial adventure she’s experienced in the world of PE vs previous experiences in large corporates. And of course, a willingness to get hands dirty.

Fiona’s tip for success in the PE context is to hire people you’ve worked with before and know you work well with. (I think, at least partly, since ultimately we know cultural and interpersonal ‘fit’ are super important in hiring decisions. But also, I expect, because speed is always so important and prior experience is a helpful short cut.)

She alludes to another, equally important success factor that’s relevant widely but perhaps even more important in a smaller business – seeking others outside the company who can provide perspective and challenge to a senior leader’s thinking.

Access the post on LinkedIn.