Prior to taking the job of building a European private equity business for General Electric, Sherwood Dodge was given the opportunity to take good look around the world's largest company.
Dodge joined GE Capital, the group's financial services arm, in 1988 and worked in a number of areas in the US, Asia and Europe. Having arrived in London in 1997, he has presided over the establishment of continental European offices in Milan and Warsaw and overseen $500m worth of investment in 65 transactions. In 60 of these GE Equity, as is house style, invested alongside other venture capital investors.
GE Equity plays in the growth capital segment of the market. More than half the firm's assets are in TMT, but other sectors such as business services are important too – as long as they go along with GE's overall activities. Strategic fit is an important factor in the firm's investment approach, but benchmarking is not done by soft criteria alone: the bottom line, as Dodge is quick to point out, is return on capital deployed.
Earlier this week Dodge spoke to PEO about his investment approach, GE's parental influence, and the advantages of investing balance sheet money only when others struggle to raise funds.