“I took the programme to fill a gap in my educational knowledge”
Carly Becker was already enjoying an exciting media career when she came to London Business School (LBS) to participate in the Financing the Entrepreneurial Business (FEB) programme. As Corporate Development Manager for the broadcast-content company All3Media, she is now involved in acquiring TV production companies and investing in TV production startups.
“My role is around developing our M&A strategy and working across the deals that result. These can range from acquiring an established international drama production company to investing in a factual-entertainment producer’s first stand-alone venture,” she explains. So what attracted her to the FEB programme?
“I’d studied Economics and Management at Oxford University and worked in M&A for a few years, so I had a good understanding of how deals work but I wanted to gain some specific tools. I’d never studied finance as such: I took the programme to fill a gap in my educational knowledge. I already had a high level of knowledge but I came on the programme with a particular need and it was very much served.”
The highlight for Carly was learning the finer points of complex deal structures and finance, such as the distinction between different classes of share and types of debt. “It’s the sort of thing you have to be taught,” she says. “You can’t just pick it up.”
A colleague had recommended London Business School and particularly Professor John Mullins and Martyn Williams, who lead the programme. She often refers back to her folder from the programme – and also to Professor Mullins’ book The New Business Road Test.
“I was very impressed with LBS,” she says. “It felt like a very high-end, well-put-together programme and I liked the intensity: we got a lot done in a short period of time. I came out of it with a greater understanding of what goes on during the deal-making process – both from my side, as an investor, and from the other side – what it feels like to be an entrepreneur looking for investment, what challenges you might be facing.”
She also enjoyed dissecting real-life examples of deals: the programme is taught around 10 case studies of actual deals, enabling participants to spot pitfalls and potential problems without having to learn the hard way.
Beyond that, she gained a lot from the diversity of the global class, which is composed of professionals from the venture capital, private equity and entrepreneurial communities.
“I met so many different sorts of people from around the world – we joked that it was like the UN. My classmates were of different ages and from massively varied backgrounds. I recall sitting at lunch between one person who ran a gaming start-up and another who was experienced at financing social enterprises in developing markets. It was really interesting hearing their different viewpoints and experiences.”
Carly has recently relocated to the US to work in the company’s LA office, having been promoted to Vice President, Corporate Development at All3Media America – an elevated new position and one that she is fully equipped for. “I am hugely excited about the opportunity to build All3Media’s US business through new investments in the market.”