`Trump Bump’ surprises at Columbia PE conference

  • Dow Jones industrials climbed above 21,000 on March 1
  • Snap IPO soared more than 40 pct on March 2
  • Companies and CEOs are “pretty optimistic” about Trump

The stock market’s positive reaction to Donald Trump’s presidency has surprised many, according to private equity executives who attended the 23rd Annual Columbia Business SchoolPrivate Equity and Venture Capital Conference.

The markets were expected to “take a hit” with Trump’s election, said Habib Kairouz, managing partner of Rho Capital Partners. “They didn’t,” Kairouz said.

Last week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed above 21,000 for the first time, after Trump gave his first speech to Congress. Snap, the parent of Snapchat, saw its IPO soar more than 40 percent on March 2, its first day of trade.

“Things seem to be on the right track economically,” Kairouz said.

Mark Hastings, managing director and head of Providence Strategic Growth, said companies and CEOs are “pretty optimistic” about the new president. “Generally, it’s a ‘Trump Bump,’” Hastings said.

Trump is expected to push for tax policies and regulations that will accelerate economic growth and boost corporate profits, MarketWatch said.

Both Kairouz and Hastings spoke Friday on a panel, “The Growth of Growth.”

Students attended the Columbia conference, hoping to snag a job at a private equity firm. The PE executives were asked how students should differentiate themselves to stand out.

Edison Partners, of Princeton, New Jersey, seeks candidates who “truly understand technology, who worked in technology, who understand how software technology companies tick,” said Michael Kopelman, a general partner, who also spoke on the panel.

Rho Capital also looks for people “who understand tech,” Kairouz said. Prospective candidates should have an engineering background, an operating background at a tech company or three to four years at a VC-backed company, he said.

Mark Anderson, a GTCR managing director who also spoke during the panel, said students should make sure they know they want to work in PE. “I graduated college not knowing what to do,” Anderson said.

GTCR, Chicago, is seeing candidates get into pre- and post-MBA programs and then discover that private equity isn’t for them, Anderson said. “The earlier you figure that out for yourself, the better,” he said.

Action Item: Contact Habib Kairouz, Rho’s managing partner: +1 212-848-0400

Photo courtesy iatlo/iStock/Getty Images