Does anyone know much about successful independent consultants/professors that do work in PE?

blueadams's picture
Rank: Baboon | banana points 150

I'm really sorry to be blowing up the board with so many new threads, but the more and more I look into PE (and it's still relatively new to me, obviously), the more specific questions I have. Hopefully this hasn't been too annoying for all of you (if it is, let me know, and I'll try to get some of the older threads removed or at least combined).

But as some of you had probably already guessed, I'm not sure that the PE lifestyle is for me. I'd really, really like to have summers off to relax, travel, and do my own thing for a little while each year. So, I'm thinking that a career as a business school professor might be more suitable for me. For me personally, the tradeoff between salary and flexibility would be more than worth it.

So now I am primarily focused on business area PhDs where I could teach for 100+K a year, and do some independent consulting on the side to make a little extra cash throughout the year.

I'm guessing that some of the smaller pe firms need to hire out consultants with specialized knowledge in some fields. and I'd like to become one of those people with specialized knowledge in a useful field that gets hired out.

does anyone have any good ideas? (p.s. - i'm well aware that i'd probably have to get some full-time indusry experience either before or after getting my phd for this plan to work)

the best guesses i have are...

1) to become an academic expert in a certain industry...so i would have knowledge of which companies are headed down, up, and which ones are missing out on their potential. i'm guessing that the smaller firms can't afford to have an expert of EVERY single industry on the pay-roll full-time. or maybe i could become a general expert of emerging economies?

2) private equity law? maybe some small firms can't afford to carry the expensive lawyers that are necessary to getting the deals completed year round?

3) business strategy experts? do <abbr title="private equity

">pe firms ever hire outside consultants with a great deal of expertise in general strategy to help turn around their recent purcheses?

As always, any wisdom would be greatly appreciated!

Best,

Blue

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Comments (18)

Aug 16, 2010

im well aware of the fact that i know absolutely nothing about pe in comparision to most other frequenters of the board...but i don't think that it's too crazy to be asking if any business professor types are ever consulted by phd firms.

im guessing that most business professor types who are consulted are those who spent their entire careers in PE, and then retired, taking professorships as a sort of 'something to keep busy.' but, if there are any fields where phds are consulted by pe firms with any sort of regularity, i'd really like to know about them.

thank you very much in advance for any wisdom (positive or negative).

best,

blue.

Aug 16, 2010

GOD FUCKING DAMMIT, BLUE. The minute I saw this thread, I knew you were the one that wrote it.

"If you can count your money, you don't have a billion dollars." - J. Paul Getty

Aug 17, 2010

most business professors dont have the summers off....................atleast the good/decent ones...........

Aug 16, 2010

looking at my local public institutions salaries - the university of michigan (available on line), it looks as if about 99% of the b and law-school profs are on 9 month contracts.

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Aug 17, 2010
blueadams:

looking at my local public institutions salaries - the university of michigan (available on line), it looks as if about 99% of the b and law-school profs are on 9 month contracts.

you're an idiot- are you in college? Professors do RESEACH year round, they have to PUBLISH..........

You don't doa PHD for the sake of getting a PHD, to work around the clock for 4-6 years on a thesis/studying- you have to enjoy it and like it. Otherwise, do something else.

Yes, even tenured professor's don't work 9 months a year, they may teach 9 months, but they are required to PUBLISH, which takes TIME.

Aug 18, 2010

Nobody with 30+ years of experience is going to hire someone that has zero industry experience as a consultant. Most PE firms have turnaround businesses unless that is what they specialize in. They buy going concerns that can service the debt they leveraged to purchase the company in the first place. That means the business HAS to generate cash, and a certain amount at that, and if it doesn't then they are losing money on their investment because they are likely going to have to put equity to work (which is more expensive than debt) If shit starts hitting the fan, they find industry/business consultants to try and fix the problems, not bschool professors that have nothing but unapplied book knowledge. If the problem doesn't look fixable, they call their attorney and figure out how much principal they can get back it they liquidate the business tomorrow.

To my knowledge you are not legally allowed to give "law" advice unless you are a lawyer, so that would require law school.

The whole consulting thing goes back to one of my previous points, folks that do well in PE do so because they have contacts. They pick up the phone and they call ex coworkers, contacts from bschool, people they met at last months capital connection or ACG conference. People share information because they are looking out for themselves ultimately and figure, if I help you out now, maybe you will let me cosponsor your next deal or maybe you will use my law firm or investment bank instead of someone else's.

You can find consulting gigs as a bschool professor but it isn't likely going to be for a PE firm because you likely won't be able to add any value they couldn't do themselves or do for the cost of dinner and drinks by catching up with an old buddy. They will be for smaller, more local or regional businesses looking for some ideas or ways to cut costs, etc.

Regards

Aug 18, 2010

You have a 3.3, you will never get into any phd program.

Aug 16, 2010

yeah...but for them, usually, hopefully, their research is fun, their hobby. it's what they do at the beach house. :)

and asshole above, 3.3 from my school (famous for grade deflation...midwest biz, law, and med schools raise our students gpas as much as 0.3 to 0.5 to make it comprable with other applicants) will get you into a great masters program...where, if you do well, you can get into a great phd program.

Aug 17, 2010

A 3.3 is a 3.3

Aug 17, 2010

and do YOU enjoy it THAT much? i doubt it, considering you don't ahve a certain AREA you know you want to do now. If you were passionate at this point, you'd now.

In terms of business strategy, I assume the above posters are correct in that Industry experience is key.

I'm only a banker now, but i'd hire an ex MBB person over any professor to discuss strategy.

Aug 16, 2010

a 3.3 is actually a 3.6 or a 3.8 when graduate schools increase the gpas of students from your institution by 0.3 to 0.5 points when evaluating transcripts.

im passionate about general strategy. id have fun researching that, in any field of business.

Aug 16, 2010
blueadams:

a 3.3 is actually a 3.6 or a 3.8 when graduate schools increase the gpas of students from your institution by 0.3 to 0.5 points when evaluating transcripts.

Can you please show us some evidence to support the idea that your school is perceived differently by grad schools? I apologize for being such a cynical asshole, but you sound INCREDIBLY delusional when you say shit like this.

"If you can count your money, you don't have a billion dollars." - J. Paul Getty

Aug 16, 2010

i can't really give you any links to 'concrete' evidence or whatever...but students applying to med schools, law schools, along with some other phd-track degrees in the region (and idk about bschools, bc i haven't asked any graduates that old) said that the admissions people tagged on an extra 0.3 to 0.5 points to their gpa bc of our schools reputation of grade deflation. faculty advisors have seconded this as well - - - something about how it's developed over time because our graduates have frequently outperformed the expectations of their transcripts at these institutions.

Aug 16, 2010
blueadams:

i can't really give you any links to 'concrete' evidence or whatever...but students applying to med schools, law schools, along with some other phd-track degrees in the region (and idk about bschools, bc i haven't asked any graduates that old) said that the admissions people tagged on an extra 0.3 to 0.5 points to their gpa bc of our schools reputation of grade deflation. faculty advisors have seconded this as well - - - something about how it's developed over time because our graduates have frequently outperformed the expectations of their transcripts at these institutions.

Well, I wouldn't want to accuse you of being ill-informed sir, so I'll take your word for it. However, I will say that I've never heard of a correction that is this widely accepted and uniformly implemented. If it were me in your shoes, I certainly wouldn't ever count on such a system as a crutch.

"If you can count your money, you don't have a billion dollars." - J. Paul Getty

Aug 16, 2010

oops, wrong thread.

Aug 16, 2010

well, it's only the graduate schools in the detroit to chicago area, so its not that wide.

Aug 19, 2010