PRIVATE EQUITY CEO: Why It Takes More Than Academic Smarts To Make It At Our Firm

You can be genius, but sometimes in business, genius isn’t enough.

That’s the takeaway from finance career site OneWire’s interview with Tom Dean, co-founder and co-CEO of private equity firm Avista Capital Partners.

Avista has done 90 transactions over the years investing over 9 billion dollars of equity, and Dean credits his top employees, the partners working on deals, for that success.

A lot of those partners, it’s also important to note, started at the firm as analysts, made it to associate, left Avista to go to business school, and then returned to the firm as vice presidents after earning their MBAs.

To walk that path, though, you’ve got to be more that smart.

“There’s plenty of people who have triple 800s on all their board scores, who really will never rise above the analyst or associate level,” Dean said in the interview. “We’re looking for the next partners in our firm, and those are people who have the intellectual capabilities, but also have what it takes from a marketing side, a communications side, a writing side, and an ability to have a presence, to really be future leaders for us.”

Check out the full interview and click here to sign up for OneWire’s interview series.

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