I had an interesting meeting with an LP recently. And the conversation led me to wonder if it's more important as an investor to be liked, or to be respected. Or better question - how far can you get in business while still being a total A-hole, and is there a point when it catches up with you?
About 2 years ago when I was at my last fund, I worked for a real POS. The CEO/CIO was a decent investor - but a total prick. The kind of guy that made several people quit with in a few days of joining the firm. The kind of guy that berates his fellow fund partners/MDs in front of the firm based on their investment thesis in the morning meeting.
Anyway a couple of years ago we had a truly outstanding buyout deal on our hands, and we opened it up to co-investment. One LP did a ton of DD and we believed that they would invest. But ultimately, at the last minute, they pulled out inexplicitly, and gave some unconvincing excuse. I remember the CEO just tearing into me and my MD for our failure to close.
Anyway a couple of months ago, I ran into the same LP at a conference, and the LP said "It was a brilliant deal. It was one of the best opportunities we saw in a long time. But we walked away because we did DD on your boss, and spoke to his former GS colleagues. They said he was very smart and a great investor. But his old colleagues said he was very difficult to work with. And we just don't have interest in being in business with someone like that. And especially we worried what would happen if things went sideways on a deal. How would it be to work with him then?"
Anyway, it got me wondering to what degree this otherwise decent investor got in his own way by alienating/angering his LPs, his partners, subordinates.