(Charlotte, NC – November 26, 2019)
Source: Pitchbook (*data as of November 9, 2019)
PE Fundraising in the U.S. Hits an All-Time High
(Pitchbook) In early November U.S. private equity toppled a record. Domestic funds have now raised more capital in 2019 than any previous year. Although the number of funds has declined in two consecutive years, the amount of capital raised continues on an upward trajectory. The ascent of mega funds helps explain why. The phenomenon also underscores the relative ease by which general partners have garnered funding lately, as limited partners continue to flock to the lucrative private markets.
Bradley Jacobs Has Acquired More than 500 Companies. Here’s What He Has Learned
(Wall Street Journal) Bradley Jacobs, chief executive of XPO Logistics, is a seasoned M&A veteran having bought 500 companies over his career in route to building billion-dollar businesses. Mr. Jacobs sat down with the Wall Street Journal to reveal what he’s learned along the way and how he has refined his strategy since co-founding his first company in 1979.
Why Cisco’s ‘spin-ins’ Never Caught On
(Financial Times) In hopes of stimulating new idea generation, former Cisco CEO John Chambers set up a ‘spin-in’ program. Cisco would fund semi-independent start-ups to venture into a new product or market. If the new businesses hit predetermined targets, they were bought out by Cisco – a lucrative payday for their executives while simultaneously injecting a successful new business into the corporate parent. However, this seemingly win-win arrangement did not catch on – and Chambers’ successor ended the experiment.
What Investors Can Learn From the Best Poker Players
(Wall Street Journal) Researchers have discovered that certain behavioral traits are found in both successful investors and elite poker players. Due to the similar balance of known and unknown information, valuable insights can be gleaned from comparing the two activities. One Carnegie Mellon game theory professor cites the disposition effect, in which investors tend to sell assets that have increased in valuer but hold on to those that have decreased. This behavior also manifests itself in poker, when players, to their detriment, more often walk away when they’ve won money than when they’re losing. This is one of the several cognitive biases that investors and poker players alike must harness if they desire to improve their chance at good outcomes.
Microsoft Tried a 4-Day Workweek in Japan. Productivity Jumped 40%
(CNN) This summer, Microsoft unveiled a program in Japan which shut down its offices every Friday in August and gave all employees an extra day off each week. While the amount of time spent at work was cut dramatically, productivity – measured by sales per employee – spiked nearly 40% compared to the same period in the previous year.