We recently asked private equity insiders – including several high-profile secondaries heads – what they have at the top of their summer reading lists this year. Can you guess which book belongs to which industry expert?
The dog days of summer are finally here. Half-year results have come and gone and every third email is greeted with a chirpy out-of-office declaring the recipient out of action until September.
One secondaries firm appears to have taken off the entire month of August, and who can blame them?
After 10 months of poring over financial reports, PPMs and hefty due diligence questionnaires, execs finally get the chance to kick back with that paperback they were given for Christmas.
We teamed up with our sister publication Private Equity International and asked a handful of the industry’s most influential (and time-pressed) insiders which books they have at the top of their summer reading lists. Here’s a hint: the secondaries guys have the most interesting books in their beach bags.
Give it your best shot, and email your answers to email@example.com before 24 August.
The person with the most correct answers wins a book of their choice from the PEI bookstore.
(Note: There are 18 names and just 17 books – which title was so popular two of our insiders are reading it?)
1. André Frei, co-chief executive, Partners Group
2. Andrew Geczy, incoming chief executive, Terra Firma
3. Andrew Hawkins, head of secondaries, ICG
4. Bela Szigethy, co-chief executive, Riverside
5. Erik Hirsch, chief investment officer, Hamilton Lane
6. Jan Radberg, head of private equity, AP Fonden 1
7. Jason Gull, head of secondaries, Adams Street Partners
8. John Zhao, chief executive, Hony Capital
9. Josh Lerner, professor, Harvard Business School
10. Mounir Guen, founder, MVision
11. Paul Newsome, head of investment management, Unigestion
12. Pete Wilson, managing director, HarbourVest Partners
13. Réal Desrochers, managing investment director, CalPERS Private Equity
14. Stewart Kohl, co-chief executive, Riverside
15. Susan Long McAndrews, head of US primaries, Pantheon
16. Sven Lidén, chief executive, Adveq
17. Thomas von Koch, managing partner, EQT
18. Weijian Shan, group chairman and chief executive, PAG
THE READING LIST
Before the Fall, Noah Hawley
“A potent, gritty thriller that exposes the high cost of news as entertainment and the randomness of fate,” says The New York Times
The Orphan Master’s Son, Adam Johnson
“Johnson has made just one trip in his life to North Korea, but he’s managed to capture the atmosphere of this hermit kingdom better than any writer I’ve read,” says The Guardian
La folie des banques centrales, Patrick Artus
“Patrick Artus, Natixis chief economist, explains the dangerous games played by central banks and how this will lead to the next crisis, which promises to be worse than the previous one,” says Les Echos
Levels of Life, Julian Barnes
“Barnes writes with astonishing precision about mourning and grief, those areas of human experience so often camouflaged with evasion and silence,” says The Telegraph
Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, Yuval Noah Harari
“Children often still learn history as a tedious parade of names and dates. Sapiens is the antimatter version of this kind of history, all sparkling conceptual schemas and ironic apothegms, with hardly a Henry or Louis or Philip in view,” says The Wall Street Journal
The Only Game in Town: Central Banks, Instability, and Avoiding the Next Collapse, Mohamed El-Erian
“El-Erian offers a grand tour of the challenges we face, along with ideal solutions and more likely outcomes,” says The New York Times
Seveneves, Neal Stephenson
“Stephenson specialises in coming up with arresting premises, then teasing out how science and technology would affect their outcome,” says The Los Angeles Times
Be Iron Fit: Time-Efficient Training Secrets for Ultimate Fitness, Don Fink
“This book tells you how to fit Ironman training into your life,” says Triradar
Grand Ambition: An Extraordinary Yacht, the People Who Built It, and the Millionaire Who Can’t Really Afford It, G Bruce Knecht
“G Bruce Knecht’s illuminative and utterly engaging story of the three-year building of the luxury yacht Lady Linda is a reminder that the axiom remains an immutable law of the sea – no matter how much you supersize the vessel” says The Wall Street Journal
A Briefer History of Time, Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow
“A sprightly canter through modern cosmology and the associated science,” says Popular Science
The Cloud Forest: A Chronicle of the South American Wilderness, Peter Matthiessen
“A man trying to lace a football in the dark might make a pattern rather like Mr Matthiessen’s transits of South America,” says The New York Times
Cold: Extreme Adventures at the Lowest Temperatures on Earth, Ranulph Fiennes
“His latest book encompasses a lifetime of adventures in cold and altitudinous places, enhanced with tales of the great explorers who went before him, people such as Scott, Shackleton and Peary,” says Geographical
Dealing with China, Hank Paulson
“Former United States Treasury secretary Henry M Paulson Jr provides readers a glimpse into the political relations he developed with senior officials in China during his time as chairman and chief executive officer at Goldman Sachs,” says the LSE Review of Books
Dude and the Zen Master, Bernie Glassman and Jeff Bridges
“Their book’s gentle conceit is to use The Dude and his response to situations thrown out in The Big Lebowski, to impart the essence of Zen’s promise,” says NPR
The Inner Game of Tennis: The ultimate guide to the mental side of peak performance, W Timothy Gallwey
“Though pro tennis players are ironically loathe to talk about the mental side of their game, chances are good that many of the competitors at Wimbledon have read Gallwey’s book,” says Buzzfeed
The Arabs: A History, Eugene Rogan
“One of the special features of this book is that it draws on Arab writings (by memoirists, journalists and others) to give an idea of how the Arabs have experienced their own history,” says The Telegraph
[As yet untitled], Peter Georgescu
*This is an as yet unpublished manuscript, so no review is available.