Avy, it’s a distinct honor having you join us on Private Capital Call.
1. Pandemic Perspective. As a long-time private equity investor and keen market observer, this past year must have presented many lessons for you and your firm. Tell us about your top takeaways.
Much like any other substantial event in our lives—like 9/11 or the 2008 financial crisis—this pandemic will change the way we live and work both in the short run and in certain persistent ways. We do need to keep in mind that events that are recent and vibrant tend to loom large in our minds. Some things will change but many behaviors will likely revert.
From a business perspective, there are a couple of key outcomes that I have observed. First, we have become accustomed to better technology that enables frequent use of remote meetings. People will still travel across the country for meetings, but they may not necessarily do so for a single meeting. Contrary to some people who still envision the next year as a slow, arduous march back to normalcy, I actually think that as we get past the summer months, we’ll quickly start to experience another period like the “Roaring Twenties.” Offices are certainly not dead. We are invested in two office developments that are leasing very quickly. Even so, we’ll be far more conscious of when it makes sense to “hotel” rather than assigning an office to every colleague, when to leverage travel, and when to leverage technology to balance cultural stewardship with our newfound flexibility and efficiency.