PE HUB Wire Highlights, 10.11.18

Kainos to exit SlimFast in $350 mln sale; Butterfly Equity operating partner named as potential bidder in Campbell Soup divestiture; Why SPACs are in vogue with investors

Happy Thursday, everyone. Yesterday, as I was coming home from a “Senior Women in PE” event — which was great btw — I was confronted by a stranger stressed out over Hurricane Michael. I sat with this woman, who was lucid and well-spoken, on the subway. She spent about a half hour showing me pictures and news articles on her cell of Hurricane Michael (which worked even in the tunnels for some magic reason). “It was five miles off of Hurricane 5,” she kept saying over and over. Stay safe, Florida.

I’ve received a number of responses to topics I’ve posed over the past few weeks. Here’s a portion of what I’m hearing.

R.P. thinks that b-school “provides a filter for PE firms.  I-banking analysts come from all walks of life into training programs, but firms hold a higher standard for partner-track post-MBA positions. Simply getting accepted into top MBA programs is an indicator as a result of the due diligence and security about candidates that firms simply don’t have the time or resources to do themselves. Further, the summer internship provides a ‘risk-free trial’ of a candidate that you can’t get by hiring someone currently employed.”

Brad: “I found business school highly relevant to my career. It provided highly useful technical skills such as valuation (I took a class entirely focused on it, really getting into the nuts and bolts of it; that is a 10-week class of 30 hours of class time and probably another 100 hours outside of class). It was taught by a world class professor. You just don’t get that level of instruction in Training the Street or through the CFA. Other relevant classes addressed taxes, options concepts, financial statement analysis, and cases in corporate finance, not to mention broader, less technical classes such as managerial decision making, marketing and operations.

“I took classes from Nobel-prize winning professors, learning firsthand about their research that led to them winning that award.

“I’m baffled by those who say they didn’t get anything out of their MBA but networking. My guess is they didn’t put enough effort into it to get anything else out of it.”

From Alison: “As someone who was not a career switcher or new to business concepts, I viewed the MBA as a rare opportunity to take two dedicated to years to cultivate meaningful relationships (life-long friendships, which are not easy to make in adulthood), and of course valuable acquaintances. I also saw it as a time to grow and focus on the soft skills in a structured, supportive environment. Working with different backgrounds and cultures (more so than I ever experienced at work) helped hone my emotional intelligence, and sincere, personal feedback strengthened my confidence and helped me target valuable growth areas. Making the most of this time required introspection and vulnerability – two characteristics the finance industry is not especially known to possess.”

Daniel wanted to know if he should get a finance degree or an MBA. The response was nearly anonymous. Get the MBA.

Steve says: “If you’ve never worked in an operating company, the MBA is important because it provides a look into operations, marketing etc. Even if the experience in those areas is only academic, it’s important for the VC/PE role. I had a negotiating class and ethics class in my program; not sure if those would be part of that MFA.”:


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