Henry Kravis, founder of private equity giant KKR gave Bloomberg a remarkable interview, looking back at 40 years in the investment business. The interview has a view fascinating insights into investment decisions and interaction with investor relations efforts.
“I compare their responses to the dot-com period around 2000. Back then I’d ask, ‘What’s your strategy?’ and people would tell me, ‘Go public.’ I’d say, ‘That’s not a strategy-that’s a way to raise money.’ ‘It’s all eyeballs,’ they’d say. ‘OK, eyeballs,’ I’d say. ‘You’re looking at your screen: How are you going to turn those eyeballs into money?’ And of course all of those people went away.
The arrogance during that time was staggering. I can’t tell you how many people told George [Roberts, Kravis’s cousin and partner in KKR] and me, ‘You don’t get it …’
In essence he highlights that investor relations officers and CEOs need to avoid two traps: (1) hubris and (2) mistaking a near-term payday for a real strategy to build a profitable business.
The interview has many more interesting insights to offer. So ell worth a read! Find the full interview over here.