Like any self-respecting industry type, First Round loves to ski (with apologies to those who – heaven forbid – may not enjoy the pastime).
It watched with green-eyed envy when, at the close of a very successful Invest Europe conference in Geneva, delegates seemed to be sloping off with suspiciously ski-shaped baggage on an unofficial, under-the-radar post-conference networking jolly. In a taxi back to the airport with two eminent European IR executives, First Round plotted how to secure an invite in 2017. Perhaps some Invest Europe committee work is in order.
Elsewhere in Switzerland, there is one group which will never need to jostle or lobby for an invitation to enjoy some fresh powder. Partners Group is an organisation First Round follows with great interest.
From its headquarters in Zug the firm has grown into a global force, evolving from a private equity fund investor into a diversified manager with assets of $50 billion managed across private equity, real estate, infrastructure and private debt from 18 offices globally.
So when Partners announces it is building a new “campus” to house its Americas operations, First Round noted with interest the location: the Denver Metro area, a very short hop from some of the greatest ski areas in the world. PG insiders tell First Round that the “mountain culture” is a strong part of the firm’s DNA. New employees benefit from an introductory day in the Swiss Alps and the management regularly holds away days at altitude.
The Partners Group campus, scheduled for completion in 2018, will be able to accommodate “several hundred” employees, who will benefit from “the high quality of life the state offers”, says David Layton, partner and co-head of private equity, who will relocate from New York to the new site.
First Round had better start lobbying now for an invitation…