Books relevant for PE/VC Professionals

Can you guys write what books should one read if he/she wishes to get into VC/PE which requires you to have a thorough knowledge of what works and what does not? Since you would be looking forward to investing in companies which are still new and you don't know how to sort them out, so what knowledge should that person possess (and how to acquire it) which would help the person with making the right decision?

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Comments (16)

Feb 20, 2019 - 6:03pm

Not exactly a super technical book but I just got done reading King of Capital and I honestly think its an informative read because of how the authors break down why Blackstone did the deals it did. The second last chapter highlights 3 deals (Gerresheimer AG, Merlin Entertainment and Travelport Inc.) by focusing specifically on value creation done by Blackstone.


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Feb 20, 2019 - 7:55pm

Unclear as to what exactly you're asking for but it sounds like you want reading materials to learn more about PE and VC?

  1. Venture Deals by Brad Feld is a good overview of standard terms/deal structures in VC. His blog is great too.

  2. Mastering Private Equity - Good overview of PE in general. Covers just about everything. Not super deep but a good starting point.

  3. Masters of Private Equity - Cool overview of various PE/VC guys that started their own firms, how they built them, and what made them win.

  4. **Distressed Debt Analysis by Moyers **- If you want to learn about distressed (which I think you should) then this is a great deep dive.

  5. Various blogs like Fred Wilson's blog on the VC end. Blogging is heavy in VC culture compared to PE and you can find a ton of great stuff. One of my favorites:

  6. Mergers & Acquisitions from A to Z. Nice overview of the M&A process if you're green.

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Feb 20, 2019 - 9:32pm

I highly recommend King of Capital, Venture Deals & Masters of Private Equity and Venture Capital as others have mentioned. Here are some others:

  • Barbarians at the Gate - Bryan Burrough & John Helyar deep dive in to KKR, the RJR Nabisco deal & the players involved. There is a reason many business schools use it as a case study.

  • The New Tycoons - Jason Kelly less technical as with King of Capital but a good industry overview with the perspective from founders of several MFs

  • The Hard Thing About Hard Things - Ben Horowitz management guide for entrepreneurs and VCs from a heavy hitter

  • Gods at War - Steven Davidoff dry but technical look at deals and their structure

  • Deal Terms - Alex Wilmerding another dry but technical read, venture focused

  • Leveraged Buyouts - Paul Pignataro intro LBOs and IB with modeling specifics

  • Mergers and Acquisitions Playbook - Mark Filippell M&A guide, more from a sellers perspective

Investment bankers are typical recruits for PE/VC firms because the knowledge they develop around deal structure, modeling skills, and rigor of work is directly transferable. Earlier stage VC's, which appears to be of higher interest to you, may look more at operators / entrepreneurs that have experience building young companies or engineers / specialists with an acute understanding of the technical intricacies of the businesses they invest in.

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Feb 20, 2019 - 11:38pm

Here is my books library on this topic.

Private Equity:
* Decision-Making in Private Equity Firms – An Empirical Study of Determinants and Rules – Mark Broere
* Inside Private Equity – James M. Kocis, James C. Bachman IV, Austin M. Long III, Craig J. Nickels
* Investors in Private Equity Funds – Theory, Preferences and Performances – Daniel Hobohm
* Leveraged Buyouts – A Practical Guide to Investment Banking and Private Equity – Paul Pignataro
* Private Company Valuation – How Credit Risk Reshaped Equity Markets and Corporate Finance Valuation Tools – Gianluca Oricchio
* Private Equity – A Transactional Analysis – Chris Hale
* Private Equity – Opportunities and Risks – H. Kent Baker, Greg Filbeck, Halil Kiymaz
* Private Equity 4.0 – Reinventing Value Creation – Benoit Leleux, Hans van Swaay, Esmeralda Megally
* Private Equity as an Asset Class – Guy Fraser-Sampson
* Private Equity Fund Investments – New Insights on Alignment of Interests, Governance, Returns and Forecasting – Cyril Demaria
* Private Equity in Action – Case Studies from Developed and Emerging Markets – Claudia Zeisberger, Michael Prahl, Bowen White
* Private Equity Unchained – Strategy Insights for the Institutional Investor – Thomas Meyer
* Private Equity Valuation – Duff & Phelps – Private Equity International
* Private Equity: History, Governance, and Operations – Harry Cendrowski
* The Future of Private Equity – Beyond the Mega Buyout – Mark Bishop
* The Oxford Handbook of Private Equity – Douglas Cumming
* The Private Equity Edge – Arthur B. Laffer

Private Equity/Venture Capital:
* Beyond the J-curve – Managing a Portfolio of Venture Capital and Private Equity Funds – Thomas Meyer & Pierre-Yves Mathonet
* Mastering Private Equity – Transformation via Venture Capital, Minority Investments & Buyouts – Claudia Zeisberger, Michael Prahl, Bowen White
* Venture Capital, Private Equity & the Financing of Entrepreneurship – Josh Lerner, Ann Leamon, Felda Hardymon
* Venture Deals – Be smarter than your lawyer and venture capitalist – Brad Feld, Jason Mendelson

Venture Capital:
* Venture Capital & the Finance of Innovation – Andrew Metrick, Ayako Yasuda

Private Equity Operations:
* Human Capital in Private Equity – Managing Your Most Important Asset – Dr Eric Warner, Mercer HR Consulting – Private Equity International
* The Operating Partner in Private Equity Volume 1 & 2 – Private Equity International

Geographic Focus:
* Private Equity – The German Experience – Paul Jowett, Francoise Jowett
* Private Equity Funds in China: A 20-Year Overview Volume 1 – Xia Bin, Wang Changyun, Zhou Ye'an
* Private Equity in Emerging Markets – The New Frontiers of International Finance – Darek Klonowski
* Private Equity Investing in Emerging Markets – Opportunities for Value Creation – Roger Leeds
* Shari'a-Compliant Private Equity – A Primer for the Executive – Shahzad Siddiqui
* Shari'ah Compliant Private Equity and Islamic Venture Capital – Fara Madehah Ahmad Farid

Corporate Finance:
* Investment Banking: Valuation, Leveraged Buyouts, and Mergers and Acquisitions – Joshua Rosenbaum, Joshua Pearl
* Strategic Corporate Finance – Applications in Valuation & Capital Structure – Justin Pettit
* The Handbook of Financing Growth – Strategies, Capital Structure, and M&A Transactions – Kenneth H. Marks, Larry E. Robbins, Gonzalo Fernandez, John P. Funkhouser, D.L. Williams
* Valuation – Measuring and Managing the Value of Companies – Tim Koller, Marc Goedhart, David Wessels
* Value – The Four Cornerstones of Corporate Finance – Tim Koller, Richard Dobbs, Bill Huyett

Mergers & Acquisitions:
* Applied Mergers & Acquisitions Workbook – Robert F. Bruner
* Commercial Due Diligence – The Key to Understanding Value in an Acquisition – Peter Howson
* Mergers, Acquisitions and other Restructurings – Donald M. DePamphilis
* Mergers, Acquisitions, Divestitures and Other Restructurings – A Practical Guide to Investment Banking and Private Equity – Paul Pignataro
* The Art of M&A – A Merger Acquisition Buyout Guide – Stanley Foster Reed, Alexandra Reed Lajoux, H. Peter Nesvold
* The Art of M&A Due Diligence – Navigating Critical Steps and Uncovering Crucial Data – Alexandra Reed Lajoux, Charles M. Elson
* Valuation for M&A – Building Value in Private Companies – Chris M. Mellen, Frank C. Evans
* Valuation for Mergers and Acquisitions – Barbara S. Petitt, Kenneth R. Ferris

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Feb 21, 2019 - 10:52am

In the politest way possible, have you honestly read all of these? I'm more an advocate of becoming a well rounded intellectual, i.e. balancing business reads with non-fiction, classics, etc... This seems a little overkill on the business side of things lol

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Feb 21, 2019 - 6:48pm

Yes, I have. Some of these books inspired other activities. E.g., After reading the books I wanted to learn more about Shari'a compliant PE so I traveled to Dubai and Abu Dhabi to meet with local PE firms and sovereign wealth funds to learn more about how they invest, how they line up financing, etc. I consider myself well rounded...I read non-business books, too. :-)

Feb 22, 2019 - 11:39am

It's reasonable to have read all of these without no-lifing it. Reading one of these per month would get you to this list within four years. Generally, doing a little bit of anything consistently will really add up over time.

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