Symposium West Wrap-Up

“The proprietary deal may be on the endangered species list…. A deal where we take a company to five buyers or less is about as proprietary as we’re going to get.”

David Barnes, managing director at investment bank Houlihan Lokey Howard & Zukin

“We thought we were sitting on a tech stock bubble. We didn’t understand the extent of the tech company bubble.”

Dipanjan Deb, founder and managing partner of tech buyout shop Francisco Partners, talking in his keynote adress about the pitfalls of tech buyout investing in the early 2000s.

“Being a minority investor in consumer companies puts us in the lower part of the gutter.”

Chip Adams, managing director, Rosewood Capital, referring to how his firm’s investment strategy is less than popular

“August 22, 2007.”

John Beauclair, vice president at buyout shop Sun Capital Partners, pressed to predict when the distressed cycle would hit. He then added:

“I’ve been wrong so long that I’ll be no less wrong picking a specific date, but if I’m right I’ll be famous.”

“Distressed is a great place to be if you have an expertise in distressed. If you don’t have an expertise in distressed, you should stay very far away.”

Brad Hall, director, distressed advisory shop Alix Partners

“What placement agents should do is battle test your presentation before you speak with LPs.”

Kelly DePonte, partner at placement agent Probitas Partners

“Our view is it’s been amateur hour for the last three years.”

Scott Vollmer, CEO of distressed fund placement agent Drum Capital Management, talking about the flood of distressed-focused fundraising

“There’s no such thing as a proprietary deal or a steal. It’s really about what you do with the company after you own it.”

Jean-Pierre Conte, chairman and managing director at buyout firm Genstar Capital

“Attention will likely shift back to small and mid-market funds in the next year or two, given the capital deployment cycle and the amount of mega-funds that have recently re-upped.”

Susan Long McAndrews, partner at fund of funds Pantheon Ventures Inc., discussing how smaller funds will once again be center stage on LP minds.

“We don’t run ‘auctions,’ we run ‘processes.’ Let’s just be clear about that.”

Patrick Crocker, managing director at investment bank Harris William & Co., coining a euphemism

“I’ve always held that this is a simple business and it’s the people that screw it up with self-inflicted wounds.”

Mac Hofeditz, partner at placement agent Probitas Partners, talking about the inability of some general partners to get in front of prospective investors and competently tell their story.