MiB: Graham Weaver, Alpine Investors 



This week, we speak with Graham Weaver, who is the founder and CEO of Alpine Investors, a private equity firm in San Francisco that invests in software and services. Graham has been in private equity for over 20 years, having started Alpine in his dorm room at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

We discuss how he launched a PE company in his dorm at Stanford’s GSB, and proceeded to “make every mistake in the book.” But his investors stayed with him, impressed by his communication throughout the rough period. They must have seen lots of potential in him, as Alpine is now an $8 billion firm.

He explains how Alpine came to focus on the development and training of CEOs to run their private equity acquisitions. The potential gains from a well-run turnaround start at the top, regardless of what econometric modeling the rest of the private equity industry obsesses over.

A list of his favorite books is here; A transcript of our conversation is available here Tuesday.

You can stream and download our full conversation, including the podcast extras on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Google, Bloomberg, and Acast. All of our earlier podcasts on your favorite pod hosts can be found here.

Be sure to check out our Masters in Business next week with Hannah Elliott, who covers all things automotive for Bloomberg. We discuss today’s wild car market, Motorcycles going electric, vehicles that are competing with Tesla, and all of her favorite hypercars. She lives in LA and says the car culture there is enjoying a renaissance, and why you should do the $10,000 Ferrari track course.




Graham Weaver’s favorite books

Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t by Jim Collins

Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination by Neal Gabler

The Essays of Warren Buffett: Lessons for Corporate America by Lawrence Cunningham

The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life by Alice Schroeder

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are by Brené Brown

Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip Heath and Dan Heath

Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard by Chip Heath and Dan Heath


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