If you go down in the woods today… you might see members of the Kleinwort Capital team up to their bellies in mud and shooting at their advisors. Balls of paint we hasten to add. Lots of balls of paint in fact. At the UK private equity firm's third annual paintball outing in October, a staggering 55,000 “bullets” were fired. Having set the target of surpassing last year's 50,000 total, organiser Mike Biddulph declared himself delighted with the “10 percent outperformance against target”. The event aimed at staff and advisors – “the younger members of the corporate finance community” per Biddulph – succeeded despite difficult weather conditions and one ex-Army guest who worried the organisers slightly by turning up with his own camouflage gear, extolling the virtues of “four man death squads”. Despite this, all the participants returned home in one piece, already looking forward to producing upper decile, rapidfire returns next year.
“People say to me, “It takes $50-$100 million of venture capital to build a world-class company”. I say, what about Microsoft, Cisco, Yahoo and Oracle? None of them required that”.
Paul Deninger, chairman and CEO of Broadview, tells delegates at EVCA's Technology Investment Conference, held in October in Barcelona, that venture capital success isn't just about deep pockets.
“That sector is overplayed. The opportunity has moved elsewhere. We are looking for firms with a niche”.
Oregon Investment Council member Mark Gardiner, on why he doesn't want to commit state pension capital to large buyout funds, to Bloomberg. Gardiner voted against recommitting to a European buyout fund managed by Hicks Muse Tate & Furst, forcing the firm to delay fundraising.
“Yes, I've got ultimate veto-power [on all investments], but there's a big deep solid team there. I'm not superman. It wasn't me, it was us”.
Bill Conway, co-founder of The Carlyle Group, tells the Financial Times that there is more to the firm than his personal deal making prowess.