Month: June 2012

Insights from First Republic Bank’s 3rd Annual Private Equity and Venture Capital CFO conference

One of the distinct perks of working in the Venture Capital and Private Equity world is being able to attend some great conferences (ok, ok,  not all of them are amazing).  During my 13 year career, I’ve attending conferences spanning from Las Vegas to Utah to beautiful Napa Valley. Along with ~150 finance professionals and service providers, I attended First Republic Bank’s 3rd annual Private Equity and Venture Capital CFO conference at the Silverado Resort in beautiful Napa Valley last week.  Side note: If you haven’t been there, but are of those strange individuals that are interested into great food and wine, golfing, biking, and incredible sight-seeing, it’s time to get out, NOW. I’ll get to the key takeaways of our conference in a minute, but first feel compelled to paint a picture of the amazing experience  we had (keep in mind that I attended the conference on my 3rd day of employment at FRB). On Wednesday night, we started with a Country Fair/Carnival experience, complete with great food, carnival games, and of course, incredible wine (it is Napa, after all!).  Side note  – My blazing 62 MPH fastballs at the baseball pitching booth were a sight to behold. On Thursday, after a full day of content followed by a 15 mile bike ride (and winery tour), we enjoyed a 6 course French Laundry dinner at the famous Yountville culinary garden opposite the French Laundry.   If that wasn’t enough, dinner was preceded by a strolling/tasting tour of all of chef Thomas Keller’s Yountville restaurants –  Bouchon, Bouchon Baker, Ad Hoc, and Addendum.   Absolutely amazing – it’s seriously one of those culinary experiences that forces you to eat about 43 times more than you planned to. Check out the picture below from one of chef Keller’s kitchens. Anyhow, proceeding to the real focus of my post, which is to highlight some of the key themes / points that came from the conference: Fundraising: While the fundraising market remains extremely difficult for the vast majority of VC’s, there continues to be plenty of new fundraising activity.  Cooley Godward expects to form about 60 funds in 2012, which is in line with the past few years. “ABF” – Always be fundraising (cue Glengarry Glen Ross).  Regardless of whether you just raised a fund or not, you’re always fundraising through continued dialogue with Limited Partners and others in your network. Everyone in the firm is part of the fundraising effort, from the founding partners, to the finance staff, to the administrative support. Extensive fundraising cycles are not (obviously) viewed favorably by LP’s – it’s simply a distraction from the primary focus; investing. Placement agents – the...

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Musings from a Private Equity / Venture Capital Banker

Hello! Working with the Private Equity and Venture Capital Group at First Republic Bank (after 12.5 years at Silicon Valley Bank), I’ve had the privilege of working with hundreds of the best finance professionals and service providers in the world. I’ve created this blog site with the primary focus of sharing information, updates, and insights about the Venture Capital and Private Equity world.   Hope you find it interesting and...

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