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Peter Thiel, Founders Fund, Paypal, Facebook
Peter Thiel may very well be the most quotable venture capitalist on the planet. He has something interesting and/or funny to say about even the most pedestrian subjects. The co-founder of PayPal and Founders Fund riffed on Apple, Google, Uber, tech founders, competition, phony technology companies and lots more at the PartnerConnect West conference in November 2014 in Half Moon Bay, Calif.
Rich Lawson, Steve Young, HGGC, private equity
Sharing wisdom gleaned as a senior executive at HGGC after his years as a Super Bowl-winning quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, Steve Young told private equity pros to huddle, embrace change and find out how good they could be at the PartnerConnect West conference Oct. 7, 2014.
Hamilton “Tony” James, president and COO of The Blackstone Group, said he was not surprised that a recent dog abuse case spurred a national outcry against a private equity firm and its portfolio company. “Animal rights people are some of the most aggressive” of activist groups, James said on the sidelines of the PartnerConnect LP-GP Summit in New York, sponsored by peHUB and Thomson Reuters. James, who spoke during a keynote Thursday, said his prior firm, DLJ Merchant Banking, once owned Charles River Laboratories, which breeds animals for pharmaceutical testing. “We got bomb threats all the time,” James told peHUB. Social media recently has publicized bad acts committed by members of the PE industry. In August, Centerplate Inc CEO Desmond Hague was caught on a hotel video abusing a cowering dog. The video went viral and the ensuing backlash included calls for Hague to be fired, threatened boycotts of Centerplate, and death threats against the CEO and executives of Centerplate’s sponsor, Olympus Partners. Hague resigned on Sept. 2. SeaWorld Entertainment, a Blackstone portfolio company, also saw its stock plunge in August. “Blackfish,” a documentary released in 2013 that highlights SeaWorld’s treatment of killer whales, has spurred a backlash against the company that has affected the company’s earnings. When asked if Centerplate waited too long to oust Hague, James said he wasn’t that familiar with the situation. “What kind of person beats their dog?” he said. “I’m not that sympathetic either.” James didn’t comment on the Blackfish controversy. Instead, he recalled how SeaWorld penguins visited the Blackstone offices when the portfolio company went public in 2013. Publicity from the visit, which included cuddly photos of SeaWorld penguins running around the firm’s offices, softened Blackstone’s image, James said. “It made us look friendly…[Social media] can be very useful tool for getting stuff out as well.” James, during his keynote, said the world had changed in the last seven to eight years “when we all went public.” The PE industry used to be private and “didn’t get a lot of attention.” Blackstone executives are now “very mindful” that they are “public figures,” he said. “We get watched…Private birthday parties become causes célèbres. We try to be careful. We make mistakes.” By Luisa Beltran, peHUB This story first appeared on peHUB on Sept. 19, 2014: https://www.pehub.com/2014/09/blackstones-james-we-are-public-figures/
Josh Lerner of Harvard Business School, delivers a keynote address entitled "The Best of Times or the Worst of Times? PE at a Crossroads" at the LP-GP Summit on Sept. 18, 2014. Lerner is the Jacob H. Schiff Professor of Investment Banking Unit Head at HBS.
Dixon Doll, co-founder and general partner at DCM, speaks at the LP GP Summit in New York Sept 18, 2014.
Jim Breyer, founder and CEO of Breyer Capital and a partner at Accel Partners, speaks at the LP GP Summit in New York on Sept. 18, 2014.
The University of Texas Investment Management Co didn’t just stumble into Foundry Group, Spark Captital and Union Square Ventures, UTIMCO CEO and CIO Bruce Zimmerman says at PartnerConnect East 2014 in New York. . Video date: March 27, 2014
T. Bondurant French, CEO & CIO of Adams Street Partners, received a lifetime achievement award from Buyouts magazine at Thomson Reuters' Buyouts East 2014 conference in New York. . Video date: March 27, 2014.
Theresa Sorrentino Hajer, Managing Director of Cambridge Associates, delivers a data-filled keynote presentation at Thomson Reuters' Venture Alpha East 2014 conference in New York. . Video date: March 27, 2014
David Rubenstein, co-CEO and co-founder of The Carlyle Group, predicted that over time money management firms like T. Rowe Price and Fidelity would offer everyday investors exposure to private equity through 401(k) plans. He spoke at Thomson Reuters' PartnerConnect East 2014 conference in New York City. . Video date: March 26, 2014

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