David Layton is the chief executive officer of Partners Group, a global private markets firm with more than $135 billion in assets under management. Layton, who joined Partners Group in 2005, leads the firm’s executive team and global executive board and is also a member of the global investment committee. He was previously the head of Partners Group’s private equity business department.
The firm has invested $195 billion since 1996. Today, they have 1,800 employees worldwide serving 800 institutional clients, and their wholly owned portfolio company employ 250,000 people. Layton explains how the firm is more like a large industrial conglomerate running wholly owned subsidiaries than a private equity firm buying firms to flip them at a profit.
Layton talks about why he banned the word “Deal” from the company. The things that made PE successful in the past – the deal-doing mindset, the overemphasis on transactional business – are not the things that are going to make modern PE firms be successful in the future. He notes the business is now about building businesses. The firm spends as much as 5 years prior to making an acquisition.
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Be sure to check out our Masters in Business next week with Maria Vassalou, Chief Investment Officer of Multi-Asset Solutions at Goldman Sachs Asset Management. She was a Professor of Finance at Columbia Business School where her academic research led her to establish many of the investment principles she employs today. At Columbia, she did consulting work for numerous institutions before joining Soros Capital Management and S.A.C. Capital Advisors.
David Layton’s Favorite Books
Surrender: 40 Songs, One Story by Bono
WEIRDest People in the World by Joseph Henrich
This Is Your Mind on Plants by Michael Pollan
Chip War: The Fight for the World’s Most Critical Technology by Chris Miller