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Terra Firma’s founder and chairman, Guy Hands, gives us an insight into what it takes to get in and succeed in private equity.
At Movemeon, we love when members of our community want to share their insight, advice and thoughts on consulting with us. Today, Terra Firma’s founder and chairman Guy Hands, gives advice on how to succeed in Private Equity
What three things make you good at your job?
Inexhaustible energy and genuine passion for what I do are important. I’d also add the ability to see the world in a way that is different to most people, that has been very important to me throughout my life.
What are the central facets of a successful private equity career?
A successful private equity career requires not only mathematical but also inter-personal skills. Numerical ability – the skill to process numbers swiftly and efficiently – is important, but so is relating to people. Businesses ultimately are about individuals and their personalities. To be successful in private equity, you need an understanding of the human dimension too.
What advice would you give to graduates hoping for such a varied finance career?
You have to be lucky, but you have to make your own luck too. Keep as many options open as you can, try for as many things as you can, ask as many questions as you can. Above all, do what you really enjoy, if you don’t like it, do something else.
What are the best things about working in PE?
I like having the ability to drill into businesses and focus on what to do to make them succeed.
What are the worst things about working in PE?
Being stuck in an office; so much of the work is done sitting down.
What has been the most important lesson in your career?
Be ready when opportunities come. You don’t know when or how they are going to crop up, but when they do arrive, you have to be ready for them and go for it. I got my big break at Goldman because when the opportunity came I really went for it and took advantage of it.
What are the advantages of hiring new graduates into private equity, rather than the traditional route of recruiting from investment banks or other areas of finance?
Firms that specialise in a particular sector hire sector specialists focused on that industry. Firms that focus on financial engineering hire from investment banks.
Our organisation is becoming more creative, deal-focused and entrepreneurial in line with our strategy to adapt to the current market. As the firm evolves it is opening up opportunities for younger people who are more entrepreneurial and are more creative and a little bit less institutional in their thinking.
Interested by this? Read the full article here
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