On Wednesday Nov. 30th, the SMIF class was privileged to have alumni Jim Howland come to speak to the class. Jim is Managing Director of Morgan Stanley Global Private Equity and has been with the firm since 2008. He was previously President of Dun & Bradstreet’s International Business and CEO of Edison Schools Educational Services Group and Regus Business Centers, Americas.
Jim led a wonderful discussion starting with a summary of private equity and Morgan Stanley as a whole. Once the class had a fuller picture of the industry, Jim went through various case studies which outlined what makes an attractive deal and the potential risks a private equity manager needs to look out for.
In addition, Jim provided considerable insight regarding industry trends. He highlighted that PE investors are worker harder and paying more due to increasing competition and dry powder. Therefore, attractive investment returns are becoming increasingly tied to operational improvements and acquisitions that create synergies. This means that there needs to be an increased awareness of value creation instead of using leverage when buying a company due to the excess risk.
We thank Jim for taking the time to come speak to our class. We learned a great deal form your expertise.