Hire purpose

First Round is painfully aware that much has changed in private equity since the boom years. 

But it’s good to see the industry  finding ingenious ways to keep living the good life.

For instance, one of First Round’s many spies on the streets of London made an interesting spot recently. While waiting patiently at a junction on his bike (you know, as cyclists always do), our source reports that a black cab roared past, with a besuited alpha male type tapping away furiously on a laptop in the back seat.

Finance guy gets cab, First Round hears you scoff; right up there with ‘dog bites man’ in the pantheon of great news stories. 

But wait – there’s more. First, our spy is convinced that this was not just a regular black cab; London’s taxi drivers may not be known for their law-abiding and considerate driving, but apparently this particular vehicle exhibited an entirely different level of disdain for the rules of the road. Second, and more significantly, the licence plate included both ‘LBO’ and ‘WSJ’… You see where First Round is going with this…? 

That’s right. Was this, in fact, an LBO guy’s very own personal black cab, specially commissioned for the purpose of ferrying him from Mayfair to King’s Cross every day at high speeds?

Because when you think about it, it makes perfect sense. A personal black cab has none of the ostentation of your standard boom years limo, which runs the risk of opening you up to the opprobrium of any passing Occupy sympathisers. And yet you can bomb down London’s bus lanes with gay abandon.

So is this indeed a new trend among London’s buyout community? Are there any readers out there who can confirm First Round’s Sherlock Holmes-esque reasoning – or better still, who can identify the user/ owner of this wondrous vehicle? And if not – if this phenomenon does not yet exist outside First Round’s tiny mind/ over-active imagination – does anyone want to back a new business venture?