David Hutchings recently retired from Albourne Americas where he was most recently Partner Emeritus having spent over 14 years at the firm where he founded the private equity research practice when he joined. He previously held a range of senior private equity roles in a career that spanned over 50 years.
We start with the serendipitous start to his career – how he was tapped on the shoulder while sitting on a sea wall on a winter’s day and how this led to a business school course and ultimately a career in the earliest forms of venture and private equity investing. David witnessed the birth of the industry as we know it in the UK, and recalls a time when a debate raged as to whether the industry (globally) would ever reach $100 m.
We speak about the industry’s evolution – how David believes that investors sometimes get lost in the weeds of due diligence and voluminous data rooms and may miss the obvious human aspects of the professionals steering capital. He believes that private equity remains a people business built on trust and networks and that despite its massive evolution in recent years these factors remain key.
We end with the reference to luck being opportunity taken, and how seizing opportunities – whether to make a change in location or to work with an inspiring mentor can determine the course of a career and turn out to be the source of much luck. Finally, we are reminded of the importance of listening – as a tool to build relationships and truly understand deals and interpersonal dynamics.
Series 1 of the 2022 Fiftyfaces Podcast is brought to you with the kind support of Heard Capital, a Chicago-based asset manager invests in public equities in the technology, media, telecommunication, financial and industrial sectors. The firm was founded in 2011 and manages assets via a long/short fund and a long-only fund.