Before this interview, The Wall Street Lab was all but an idea.
Luke decided to e-mail Simon Hirst, without really expecting to receive a positive response. After all, he is a very busy man. Besides, “what is The Wall Street Lab anyway?”, he must have thought.
To our surprise, Simon Hirst was very gracious in agreeing to meet us on the next day. We were officially in business!
To make a long story short, what you are about to hear is the fruit of that initial hard work (which, by the way, pales in comparison to what we have done since!). We really hope you enjoy the interview and excuse our newbie mistakes! We are really excited to put out this content for all of you and are determined to improve as we go along.
Simon Hirst has spent the majority of is live in various leadership positions within the M&A and Private Equity industries, including 12 years at Lehman Brothers. He also served as a Global Co-Head of Mergers and Acquisitions at Commerzbank and as the CEO of a London Stock Exchange listed company. In addition Simon is a co-founder and a managing partner of Tri-Artizan Partners a boutique merchant bank. He is also a visiting professor at some of the top European business schools, such as the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, Cass Business School, as well as IE.
If you like what you hear, it will be really helpful to is if you could leave us a 5-star rating on iTunes, as it really helps spread the word to those who could eventually benefit from the content we are producing.
To the show notes:
- The difference between his experiences studying at Oxford and Wharton [05:04]
- His experience working in M&A at Lehman Brothers [06:55]
- Work-life balance (or rather the lack thereof) in M&A [08:01]
- Simon’s definition of a financial crisis [11:10]
- His experience in a turnaround situation of a publicly traded company [12:50]
- Comparison between his experience in M&A and in private equity [14:55]
- Discussion of the value added by private equity firms to businesses they acquire [17:00]
- Advice for people trying to get into private equity [18:25]
- Discussion of technology as a substitute for critical thinking [21:40]
- Characteristics he looks at when hiring prospective job candidates and the importance of the first minute of an interview [22:35]
- How the industry has changed over the years [24:30]
- What he has learned about managing people [25:50]
- The importance of preparing for meetings [27:40]
- The advice he received from Steven Schwarzman [30:50]
- Simon’s view on mentorship [32:50]
- Simon’s career advice to young professionals [36:10]
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