It was the most magnificent surprise.
Friday, mid March.
Bonuses were due to hit our bank accounts Monday.
For some reason I had an instinct to check.
My bonus landed early.
10 minutes later…
I Walked In And Quit
I’ll never forget the look on his face.
I wandered into his office.
Stood in front of his desk.
And started to explain that my bonus hit my account early.
Looking up to me as if to say, OK why are you in my office telling me this?
“So I came in here to quit.”
I turned around and walked away.
Nothing More To Say
He wanted to talk about it.
But there was nothing more constructive for me to say.
I walked back to the glass box I’d called home for a few years to finish packing.
Running in like a soccer fan he wanted to argue it out.
Hear why I was quitting.
It was obvious why I was quitting.
And there was only one thing I wanted to talk about.
I Was Already Late
I’d already given Carlyle a couple extra months that year.
See, bonuses were to be paid in January, but the firm had pushed them out.
Damn that was frustrating.
For 2.5 years I’d planned quitting after that bonus, but then I had to wait.
But I didn’t explain that to him.
I only wanted to talk about one thing…
How quickly I could leave.
I wanted to be gone that day, never to return.
For that I would happily leave two-thirds of my carry on the table.
Still, Nothing More To Say
People who know, know…
I have zero interest disturbing old dogs where they lie.
It was just a shame how it went down.
A shame what it did to other people’s careers.
A shame it didn’t get shut down sooner, yet even I wasn’t willing to do that.
Why harm someone you don’t need to?
Why create fuss with the Carlyle Group when you can just walk away?
I have a great affinity for the firm and founders and plenty of my former colleagues.
And it’s inevitable that every leader you hire, or every boss you have, is not gonna work out your way.
Besides, he did me a massive favor.
He woke me up to the truth of Wall Street.
Good And Bad On Both Sides
Joining Carlyle I figured I’d made that oh so hugely desired leap across the street…
From banking to the buy-side.
Now, whoa, that’s when I’d be surrounded by the best of the best on Wall Street.
I discovered there’s plenty of happy and sad, good and bad on both sides of the street.
It led me to more appreciate what I had at Goldman.
And although I developed a deep love for the buy-side, I was dismayed by what I saw.
Investing in busted buyouts during the credit crisis you saw the truth of many PE shops and deals…
Short answer: Where are the customers’ yachts?
Sitting in a distressed seat where pros are paid to hunt deep value and catch the falling knife you see their truth too…
Most were paralyzed.
Too few doing any real work, adding any real value.
Just leveraging and gambling other people’s money shouldn’t earn you 2/20.
And seeing it up close and personal led me to realize it was time for me to leave Wall Street to do what deeply matters to me.
Partnering With The Next Generation
Today I carefully choose who I work with.
The managers we work with in our consulting firm raising funds and building better firms are a different breed.
Top athletes looking to drive themselves and their firms harder and better.
With a reason to invest beyond gambling someone else’s money.
Like the great pioneers of the buy-side, we’re partnering with the next generation of game-changing investors.
The rest are fading away as quickly as I did after that bonus hit my account…
P.S. For those game-changers amongst you, here’s the intro track from the Masterclass on Raising Your Fund Bigger Faster Easier…