Private equity investing is getting a lot of attention this presidential season. Now that Mitt Romney, whose fortune came from his private equity work at Bain Capital, is set to accept the Republican presidential nomination next week in Tampa, Fla., the industry will certainly spend the fall in the spotlight.
But what Mr. Romney did at Bain was on a grand scale. There is another variety of private equity investors gaining ground. Call them the do-it-yourself Romneys. Driven by low returns on public investments and a desire to have a direct say in how the investment performs, these people are stepping in to find, invest in and ultimately profit from small-time private equity deals.
Far removed from the glamour of Bain, this do-it-yourself band is driven by the same belief: that professional managers can take an entrepreneur’s idea and turn it into something much bigger. The difference is that their past experience may not be relevant to running a company.
I was interested in finding out more about what people expected going into these small deals — but also what they encountered once they were running someone else’s company with their money at stake.Page 1 of 7 | Next Page