New York, an empire state of mind
- OPINIE VAN GEORGES VAN HOEGAERDEN
21-1-2010 - Venture capital wereld
I always love being in New York and last tuesday I attended theAAAIM2010 Investment Themes event in New York (a fairly closely held affair, thank you Brenda Chai) with a keynote from John Liu, newly appointed New York City comptroller (closely guarded by his security detail) and other luminaries from the New York investment world, including Kelly Williams from Credit Suisse Customized Fund Investment Group, Marcos Rodriguez from Palladium Equity Partners, Jimmy Yan from New York City Employees\' Retirement System and Peter Marber from HSBC.
All speakers (and attendees) manage multibillion (double and triple digit) dollar funds and what struck me was how little these top managers know about venture, except to frown or stay away from the sector given its miserable performance and reputation for the last 10 years (we describe in my blogoften). There is clearly more work needed and opportunity to be gained to resurrect the face of venture and to establish new faith and trust. That trust of-course can only come from being honest and critical about past venture performance and offering a clear rational and remedy to resurrect it.
Exactly what our focus has been for the last few years. Now, I am not a journalist and I am not going to go into the many personal conversations I have had with regard to venture investing, yet I do want my readers (specifically those interested in venture) to understand how some of the financial pressures will impact venture directly, indirectly or potentially, as could be surmised from the speeches of the public speakers. And, the more every venture marketplace participant knows about its dependencies (especially from the Limited Partners at the top of the venture food-chain), the more we can each respond to and secure a better future for a sector that, in my view andere with my venture model, deserves much more commitment than 10-15% of overall LP commitments.