Today’s guest, Richard Grosshandler, started his career as an investment banker with Harris Williams, one of the leading middle market M&A advisors in the country, especially for private equity transactions. He then landed a role with Primus Capital Funds where he executed middle market buyouts and made growth investments before becoming the CEO of a small portfolio company, MxManage. After he helped sell MxManage to Cerner Corporation, Richard ended up back in private equity with Harren Equity Partners. Richard now runs a strategy consulting and private investment firm called Splash 4 Partners, which he co-founded with one of his brothers.
Richard was very generous with his time and we were on the phone for more than an hour so I divided the conversation into two parts. In Part 1 (this episode) we mostly focus on his career background and don’t get into much of his current business. You will find Part 1 invaluable if you are interested in investment banking or private equity and want a comparison.
In this episode we discuss:
- The range of possibilities available to those people interested in investment banking
- Richard’s decision-making process coming out of college
- The importance of culture and how smaller firms can deliver on that promise
- Why doing your own research and diligence on a firm or industry is critical (and easier than you think)
- The path of investment banking to private equity
- Evolution of private equity firms and the roles within them
- The value of operating experience
- (Yet another) thought process on getting an MBA or not
- An honest comparison of investment banking and private equity
- The importance of working really hard early-on and learning from the people around you
- How a personal strength is also often your weakness (and why you should watch for this)
Music by Elijah from NOMADS