I think the field of finance is being overrun with dull and repetitive businesspeople, who are doing the minimum possible to get by, with apathy, and complacence, and generally achieving mediocrity. If this is what you’re trying to get away from- then I think I’d like you.
Most of my experience has been in raising money, but I can pitch any kind of deal. Right now I’m pitching an airport, a $150M semiconductor company and a $200 million genetic information company – I’ve pitched 35 of these kind of deals to date with some success.
I can work 25 hours a day when necessary – it often is. I charge reasonable fees, and don’t give a crap about a deal unless the people in it are fun to be with. I can’t stand MBA doublespeak, and care for office politics even less. I would rather dig trenches in the dirt than finance a deal I was ashamed of.
I ride a Ducati Hypermotard and a Cagiva Mito, and I have 17 fountain pens – most of them leak. If you think we’d be good friends, find a way to say hi. If not, good luck anyway.
The French have a saying ‘le client est roi’ – the customer is king. But consider how they have treated their kings. For example, on Monday, 21 January 1793, Citoyen Louis Capet – Louis XVI – was executed in front of a celebrating crowd on the Place de la Concorde.
The guillotined head of Louis XVI rolled down the Concorde as thousands looked on, laughing and cheering. Perhaps being treated as King in Paris is not as great as it seems.
I have come to believe in some forms of heresy. The customer is not King. In fact, I have begun to look at many social norms with skepticism, and so If certain practices in my book and methods seem contrary to sound business doctrine, maybe it is the doctrine that needs looking at.
As you dig deeper, I believe you’ll find my approach less and less counter revolutionary and ever more useful and easy to put into practice.
I have always had a certain advantage over others I compete with in the capital markets because I worked for a very wealthy principal who let me experiment, and make serious mistakes.
These are the kind of mistakes that my peers in other companies would be fired for. For this reason alone, my method became better than others. I had more chance to learn.
I would be lying, however, if I claimed that I could always succeed with a pitch. Sometimes, there was not a good deal frame to be found; sometimes
I failed to find the right frame; and, what was the most painful of all, sometimes we had just taken on a crappy deal for which no pitch,
ever, would work..
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