When I enrolled at London Business School I already had 12 years experience in the finance industry, including six in private equity. I had recently taken up a new role as Vice President of MBO Capital Management, a newly established private equity firm which had no structure in place and was yet to raise any funds. To be effective and relevant in my new position, it was vital I stayed abreast of the changing PE environment and updated my skill set. I wanted to improve my knowledge of global best practice, particularly around structuring deals and governing portfolio companies; I also wanted insight into how to better select deals and manage them through to a successful exit.
I chose London Business School because it was the best. It has a strong reputation in finance and the global brand is very influential in the PE space. The Masterclass in Private Equity offered me the detailed knowledge I was looking for, in addition to a practical, hands-on experience.
Studying with someone like Professor Eli Talmor was an added incentive - the opportunity to learn from a faculty member with such vast PE experience was hugely appealing. His solar tech case study was practical and very real, a transaction that he had personally started and invested in. Power generation and distribution is not at an optimum level in my part of the world right now, so seeing how solar power generation can be successfully PE driven was highly inspirational. I am currently working on an alternative power generation deal in Nigeria and I constantly refer back to the case. I have been able to adapt what I learned with a local focus, and this new knowledge is definitely translating into tangible results.
When I started the programme, MBO Capital was a blank slate; we had to develop and structure the investment compliance policies from scratch. By applying the frameworks I’d learned and implementing them directly within the company we have been able to build a company based upon global best practice. The programme has fine-tuned and broadened my existing PE knowledge, changing my perspective and exposing me to global reporting standards. From a governance perspective it has been very practical, and something we have brought directly to bear within MBO Capital.
Building a global network and meeting other likeminded people has been a really positive experience. One classmate was an angel investor - I found his perspective to be different from an institutional one because he works closely with entrepreneurs on a personal, as well as a business level. It was fascinating and ultimately very useful to listen to his ideas and to understand his rationale for investing. Even using global investors, private equity remains a local business and interests still need to be aligned with local entrepreneurs and markets.
Back in the office I have shared my newly acquired knowledge with my colleagues, all of whom will now be attending the Masterclass in Private Equity when they reach the appropriate level within the business. I am more confident about structuring processes and evaluating transactions, and feel I have a more concrete understanding of global best practice across the sector. Longer term, the programme has also contributed to my personal growth, igniting a strong entrepreneurial instinct. In coming years I think that will play a significant part in charting my future career direction.