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The Masters of Private Equity and Venture Capital: Management Lessons from the Pioneers of Private Investing 1st Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0071624602
ISBN-10: 0071624600
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Robert Finkel is president and founder of Prism Capital, a private equity firm. He manages a $190 million private equity fund that invests in growing companies and provides financing to more mature companies.
David Greising is chief business correspondent for the Chicago Tribune.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education; 1 edition (December 14, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071624600
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071624602
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #142,728 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Ellen Carnahan on January 27, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have been a partner in the Venture Capital business my entire career - over twenty years. I have kept a personal list of "lessons learned" from my investment experience; and, I have read many of the books in the category. By far, this is the very best book in all respects. It is extremely well written and easy to read; captures the essence of each "master's" message; and, also captures the essence of the investor's personality (at least those that I know). I think this book is so good it should become a text book in business schools with private equity / venture capital programs. A must read for anyone interested in the "craft" of making successful investments in private companies.
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Format: Hardcover
In this book some of the real veterans of Private Equity and Venture Capital get to tell their own story - How did their career develop? Why did they make the choices they made and how did this form the sectors today? What lessons can they share (professional and in life)? The author Robert Finkel is the president and founder of a USD 190 million, Chicago based, PE-firm called Prism Capital. He got the inspiration for the book while arranging a number of panel discussions with seasoned VC-managers. With the book Finkel is "seeking to expand my own interest in their accomplishments and channel it, in written form, into a kind of virtual classroom, one open to public viewing." Self-improvement and sharing of financial wisdom - two worthy causes to write a book.

The structure of the book is simple: first an introduction by the author, then the two major parts of the book presenting one academic and five practitioners within first PE and then VC and finally a number of appendices with material from some of the practitioners ("Managing Director Selection Criteria" etc.). The arrangement lends itself perfectly to study the similarities and the differences of the two protagonists. Let's begin with what unites PE and VC. For a start they raise money, run funds with finite lives and then return the limited partners' money. This gives them "the advantage of a burning platform", i.e. a built in sense of urgency, a notion that time is money and an understanding of the alternative use of cash that is very conductive to driving change (and results). Both also view themselves as down to earth stewards of healthy business values, builders of enterprise value and champions of capitalism.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I just read the chapters related to venture capital in the book The Masters of Private Equity and Venture Capital. These are the chapters 7 to 11 built from interviews of:
- Garth Saloner, Stanford Professor
- Bill Draper, founder of Draper Richards and of Sutter Hill
- Richard Kramlich, founder of NEA
- Steven Lazarus, founder of ARCH Venture Partners
- Pitch Johnson, founder of Asset Management Company

You may not know their names but Draper, Kramlich and Johnson are famous "grandfathers" of Silicon Valley venture capital. You may remember them if you read anything on the history of venture capital.

I have to admit my favorite chapter was about Pitch Johnson. (So if you are bored with my lengthy post at some point, jump to the Johnson chapter before quitting!) I had been in contact with him in the past when he sent me a great poster about the early history of the west coast VC. I had also quoted Johnson in my book; I quite liked what he had to say about entrepreneurship: "Entrepreneurs are the revolutionaries of our time." And he had added: "Democracy works best when there is this kind of turbulence in the society, when those not well-off have a chance to climb the economic ladder by using brains, energy and skills to create new markets or serve existing markets better than their old competitors"

So is VC an art or a science? It is certainly not the only topic of this book but all contributors give their views on the question (and on a few other issues I will also mention).

Chapter 7 - Garth Saloner - The Entrepreneur and the Venture Capitalist

Saloner, a Stanford professor, gives an overview of what VC was and is about.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have started my Venture Capital firm last year and this book helped a lot to understand the business especially that I have only investment banking background. It's easy to read and has great advise form leading VC/PE personal.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Reading this book is like reading the abstracts of several biographies. Fun and informative. In particular, you can really start to understand the social/cultural/economic backgrounds behind different stages of evolutions in the investment space. The only shortcoming, I'd say, is the lack of depth. Also, if you are looking for modern prominent VC investors, you will be disappointed.
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Format: Hardcover
Robert Finkel has captured the essence of successful venture capital and private equity masters. Though in the beginning I thought the word "masters" in the title of the book is a bit cheesy but, as I read more about venture capital I am convinced that it's a right choice. The challenge with entrepreneurship, investments, or any activity that involves interactions with humans is that its not a precise science. You are judging and betting on people and their dreams, their intentions, and their ability to get things done. Its a tricky business; and a great candidate for apprenticeship model. Although each PE or VC has somewhat similar set of financial tools, they all have unique personalities, observations, and capacities. So you got to listen to their story in their own words. You got to find out what were they thinking when they did those pioneering deals. In that regard the book does a wonderful job. You can hear the voice of each "master" very clearly. I recommend this book.
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