First Round: Mountain to climb

First Round would like you to pause awhile in your busy schedule and spare a thought for a group thoroughly deserving of your sympathy: private equity hacks.

No, seriously. Don’t laugh. You’ve no idea how hard it is trying to keep on coming up with stuff to write all the way through August, when 94.7 percent* of the industry is away on holiday.

First Round isn’t exactly complaining, you understand. Holidays are awesome and working all the time is rubbish, so in principle it’s great that so many of you choose to make yourselves scarce for a few weeks. It’s just a bit dispiriting to receive your 54th email bounce-back of the day as you’re sat at your desk in London watching the rain pound against the windows.

Hence why we were delighted in August when Acanthus Advisers’ managing partner Armando D’Amico responded to our polite email enquiry not with a generic out-of-office message, but with a collection of his holiday photos from Mont Blanc that demonstrated exactly how little work he was currently doing (other than apparently checking his BlackBerry, natch). After all, as he rightly pointed out, a picture is worth a thousand words…

This sort of capacity for not only taking but also positively revelling in one’s holiday time is something First Round would like to see much more of in private equity. And what’s more: blissfully idyllic though the surrounding scenery looked, we couldn’t help but note that he was choosing to spend his hard-earned holiday half-way up a very steep and tiring-looking mountain – which means we didn’t even have cause to feel jealous. Forza, Armando!